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____ Thursday March 12, 2015 ____

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Education - Games

Laurier receives ministry approval for game design and development degree program

BRANTFORD – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus will offer a new Game Design and Development degree program in the fall following the recent approval from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The new Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts is a partnership with Conestoga College, where students will take courses from both institutions on campus in Brantford. The program will allow students to develop skills in game design, storytelling, project management and entrepreneurship, in addition to developing a variety of games – video, flash, board and live-action, which can be used in entertainment and other industries.

Even beyond the growing entertainment and video game industry, gamification is becoming a widely used tool in training professionals in aviation, medicine, education and a number of corporate environments.

“We are incredibly excited to launch this program in the fall and continue our partnership with Conestoga College,” said Kathryn Carter, associate dean: academic coordination. “This innovative program will prepare students to solve problems using games in a variety of settings, and find their niche within a rapidly growing area with both entrepreneurial and research opportunities.”

In the first year, successful applicants will explore the fundamentals of game design and be introduced to both the theory and practice of creating games from scratch. They’ll learn why and how people are motivated to play games, the history of video games, board game design, sound design, and storytelling in a converged media environment.

In their second and third years, students will continue to develop their skills in gamification, problem solving, and game design, taking courses in the history of cartoons and comics, human-computer interactivity, 3D animation, film studies, and organizational leadership. After completing the third-year course in project management, they will be ready to write the exam to qualify for project management certification.

In their fourth year, students will be required to design and develop their own game, and then work with entrepreneurial mentors in Laurier’s highly acclaimed LaunchPad program in Brantford to develop the game as a viable project for partners outside of the classroom setting.

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