Weber State will offer computer game development certificate

Weber State will offer computer game development certificate

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Video gamers interested in development careers will be able earn a special certificate as part of the Weber State University computer science program.

"What we're trying to do is get students into the gaming industry," said Greg Anderson, the school's computer science chairman, who asked the university's board of trustees for the four-course certificate.

Mayor Matthew Godfrey talked to Weber State two or three years ago about bringing more tech companies to the area, Anderson said. Then, Anderson attended an internship with a Walt Disney Co. company.

A number of in-state gaming companies are working to expand, and they need skilled and talented employees, Anderson said.

"Maybe there is something good coming out of these games, rather than Johnny sitting in front of the television, vegging out," he said.

The game development certification will have students evaluate different gaming hardware, genres, skills, tools and roles. The courses will help students understand the elements of creating a game -- design, story line, vision, virtual worlds and play fields. It's expected to start in the spring.

A prerequisite will be a bachelor's degree in computer science or that a student be working on a bachelor's degree in the field.

This past semester, the university had 14 students enrolled in an experimental game development class.

Student Mike Rackham, 24, said the certificate will give Weber State students an edge in the game development field.

"I think this will be really cool and a big step for Weber State to be a forerunner in this industry," he said.

Daniel Matthies, 20, was also enrolled in the experimental class.

"I've been interested in doing a gaming career. It is one of the few options I have been considering," he said.

Having gaming development courses on campus, could lead to other departments offering gaming classes, such as the art department offering game design; the marketing department offering game sales; the English department providing game story lines; and the history department authenticating facts used in games, Anderson said.

The Weber State board of trustees approved the certificate Tuesday.


Information from: Standard-Examiner

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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