Who are our students designing for? Ranging perspectives of Games Related EducatorsWe are at a key point in the teaching of games design, and its related disciplines in higher education establishments – with many experiencing significant growth in student numbers in recent years. Recent numbers from HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) report a jump of %129 in students studying Games Design courses between 2014/15 to 2016/17. This substantial growth in students has brought with it a number of challenges and discussion points this panel hope to address and discuss – pulling from a range of viewpoints a with substantial experience in teaching students of all disciplines. The initial challenge faced by all the institutions facing rapid growth in student numbers is the diversification of the students. A greater variety of courses, with specific specialisms have given rise to a greater diversification student beyond the much-debated gender lines. Incorporating growing LGBT student’s numbers, or students with recognised, distinct mental health issues or enabling needs leads to a wide range of things to consider as we construct content and design assignments and task to be as inclusive as possible.This emphasis on inclusivity is key as we act to prepare students for an ever-changing, and sometimes volatile industry – with high expectations of the skills of new entrants in all areas. The high skill threshold that all areas of industry expect of students provides a specific challenge to us as educators as we strive to balance the mastery of software and technical skills against our desire to introduce theory and the study of design into our practice. This is tempered with managing the expectations of the students and the physical logistics of our buildings and institutions. As Games Design is at its hearts an interdisciplinary practice and our teaching needs to reinforce this idea, past the STEM or even the STEAM agenda – recognising that innovative games design is more than combining science and technology with a sprinkling of art to aid along the way. These points of convergence in teaching disciplines – art and code, design and business, production and research – and any other skills that we feel students need to learn to develop as students, and as designers, cause many challenges in curriculum design and course creation. If we want students to design thoughtfully and purposefully, games that will delight players and innovate genres, while also with a view that students need to be able to negotiate target audiences and create games that could be potentially profitable to fit the needs of the students that wish to be independent game makers we return to our title question. How do we teach game design students in this new phase of increasing education acceptance of this field, and how do we influence who our students designing games for? Furthermore how do we instil in our students the notion that the education we strive to them is just the beginning – and the skills and approaches to teaching game design are just the foundation for them to build upon.
|Publication status||Published - 14 Jun 2018|
|Event||British DiGRA 2018: The Medium is the Game - Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom|
Duration: 14 Jun 2018 → 15 Jun 2018
Conference number: 2
|Conference||British DiGRA 2018|
|City||Stoke on Trent|
|Period||14/06/18 → 15/06/18|
Boudreau, K., Sloan, R. J. S., Elling, K., Sturrock , I., & Wearn , N. (2018). Who are our students designing for? Ranging perspectives of games related educators. Abstract from British DiGRA 2018, Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom.