U Ranked Number One in Video Game Design

(Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Arts Engineering

(Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Arts Engineering

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(Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Arts Engineering
(Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Arts and Engineering)

The U’s Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) program was ranked as the number one graduate and number two undergraduate video game school by The Princeton Review.

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Robert Kessler, a professor in the U’s School of Computing and the executive director of EAE, said the ranking fairly rewards the hard work of students and educators in the program.

“I think that this ranking is another piece of the puzzle,” he said. “It is an important thing that will make students stand out.”

Hai Nguyen, a freshman going into EAE, is proud of the U’s accomplishment.

“I joined this expecting just a video game program,” he said. “[But] I think that this ranking will make me work harder.”

Since he was a kid, Nguyen has dreamt of making his own video games and now feels he can do that through the EAE program.

“I will want to show future employers what I have done and represent the program well,” Nguyen said.

During the first semester of the EAE program, students take project-based classes. After that, students work in teams of 10 to 15 to create a game and learn how to work as a professional group for three semesters. These teams then publish their game through an outside publisher, such as Microsoft.

Companies that hire students from the U often see them as ready-to-go employees due to their experience in the program, Kessler said, with 93 percent of last year’s graduates obtaining a job within three months. Two of these hiring companies include EA Games and Disney.

“The game industry is all about art and working together to create everything in the games,” he said.

EAE started in 2007 as a class meant for second-year students in computer science. It has since morphed into a full program in which students can earn a bachelor’s of science or art.

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