Grand View University in Des Moines will be launching a new academic discipline in the fall. Students at the school will be able to major in game design.
Grand View administrators say students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in game design will be trained in such things as animation, video production and 3-D illustration. English professor Joshua Call describes himself as a lifetime gamer. He says he finds the intersection of story-telling with decision-making in gaming an important academic pursuit.
“Games are, if you break them down, a way of rendering complicated information, decision-making, and ideas through a graphic and interactive format,” he says.
The introduction of the major in gaming design comes as Grand View is set to begin a varsity level team in e-Sports.
It is joining around 50 colleges nationwide in making E-Sports a varsity level activity. The E-Sports team will go up against other squads in a five-player game called League of Legends. The vice president of student affairs at Grand View, Jay Prescott, says top players are already being recruited and offered scholarships.
“Just like other sports, there are positions on the team within the game of League of Legends, so we will actually recruit positions just like in basketball or football,” he says
Prescott says interest in E-Sports is rapidly growing. He expects the number of schools participating in the video game competition will double within the next year.