DIT partners with industry heavyweights to launch Digital Games masters degree

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DIT launches MSc in Digital Games in response to growth of global Gaming Industry

26th February 2010

Peter Molyneux, Creative Director of European studios at Microsoft Games Studios, and Peter Connolly, Executive Producer of Crackdown 2 for the Xbox 360 at Microsoft Games Studios, were on hand in DIT today to launch the Institute’s new MSc in Digital Games.

DIT has introduced the one-year full-time Masters Degree in Digital Games in response to the growing global opportunities presented by the gaming industry.  This programme has been designed in collaboration with many of the world’s top game industry companies including Microsoft Games Studios.  

Molyneux and Connolly took the opportunity to launch DIT’s MSc in Digital Games during the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF). 2010’s gaming forum, Controller Cinema, run in conjunction with the Schools of Computing and Media in DIT.  Molyneux is best known as the creator of popular video game titles such as Fable, Dungeon Keeper, Populous, and Black & White.  Connelly, an Irishman is in charge of the development of one of Microsoft’s biggest releases for the Xbox 360 this year.

The games industry is one of today's most dynamic and fast-moving creative sectors and there is high demand in the industry for experienced and skilled programmers, producers, and designers.  This exciting new programme has been introduced by DIT to meet the increasing demand from the games industry for postgraduates with the highest level of skills required by the industry.

A recent report* shows that employment in this sector in Ireland has grown by 400% in the past seven years. With the success of Irish owned companies such as Havok, Demonware and Jolt Online and the increasing presence of multinational players including Microsoft, PopCap, Gala Networks, Goa, Blizzard and Activision, the profile of the digital games industry in Ireland is growing internationally.  According to Prof. Brian Norton, DIT President “DIT has been providing courses on game programming since 2006 and has a proven track record in producing graduates with the highest level of skills.  DIT’s new MSc in Digital Games presents a fantastic opportunity to broaden the pool of expertise in Ireland.”

The MSc in Digital Games will address the key occupational areas identified by the Forfás report on the International Digital Media Industry **.  These are “design; artistic/creative; programming; management/project management and quality assurance”.

DIT’s MSc in Digital Games is aimed at individuals who wish to innovate or work in the digital game industry, anyone with a serious interest in understanding and making interesting games. It will appeal to graduates from diverse undergraduate and work experiences, including visual arts and media, and computer science.   The programme has been designed to prepare graduates for a broad range of careers across the computer gaming industry including game designers, level designers, game software engineers, project managers, consultants, and games analysts. 

The programme provides students with a state-of-the-art learning environment in specialised design and game programming labs.  It combines the very latest technology with classes given by highly experienced lecturers, many of whom are involved with cutting-edge research in serious games, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, embodied agents and music technology ensuring that students have access to the very latest thinking, and techniques.  Uniquely building on the combined expertise of DIT’s School of Media and the School of Computing, this industry-oriented programme will emphasise creativity and innovation through interdisciplinary study, cross-faculty cooperation, and constant industry input.  

This full-time programme has both a technical and a creative stream and will provide modules in ludology, game design, game engine programming, animation, modding, digital audio and video, motion graphics, project management and the business of games. 

For more information see www.dit.ie and www.seriousgames.ie  

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* Kerr A. The Games Industry in Ireland 2009 [Internet].  [cited 2010 Feb 24];Available from: http://gamedevelopers.ie/features/viewfeature.php?article=47

** Forfás. International Digital Media Industry: Implications for Ireland. 2006;

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