How is Gaming Shaping the Way Humans Interact?

SCAD Hong Kong’s Interactive Design and Game Development Program Prepares Young Talent for Creative Careers in this Flourishing Industry

 SCAD Interactive Design and Game Development student discussing a project – Image courtesy of Savannah College of Art and Design

SCAD Interactive Design and Game Development student discussing a project – Image courtesy of Savannah College of Art and Design

HONG KONG, 12 February 2019  – Constant connectivity has become the hallmark of 21st Century human communication, and with technology rapidly advancing, new digital platforms for interaction are frequently being introduced into society. Gaming is now seen as a communication tool rather than just a means of entertainment, increasing the need for media graduates that are well-versed in this facet of the industry. 

As this US$116 billion industry rapidly develops to meet growing business and consumer needs, there is a high demand for young talent, especially in the digital media hub of Hong Kong. SCAD Hong Kong offers one of the first and most celebrated interactive design and game development programs globally, that enables interactive designers and game developers to combine artistic vision and technical mastery to revolutionise the future of digital media.

The structure of how games are made has not drastically changed in the last 30 years, according to Professor Wan Chiu, who teaches interactive design and game development at SCAD Hong Kong, but the industry has a far more powerful role in day-to-day communications. “It’s an ever-growing field,” says Professor Chiu. “You can compose and read an email, but how do you keep people engaged? It’s all based on interactivity, and our job is to provide that experience and exchange.” 

Game design is no longer bound by traditional platforms, nor is it limited to the business of entertainment, rather it has enabled and continues to create a direct dialogue with consumers. Simple mechanics such as clicking ‘like’ on Facebook or sharing a meme on Instagram are devices that originated in gaming, while virtual and augmented reality technologies are being incorporated into business and education forums across industries.

In addition to the latest software, SCAD’s game design students have access to state-of-the-art resources and technology, including virtual reality, game development engine kits and the tools to build hit video games, award winning websites, and immersive reality experiences. However, it is SCAD’s interdisciplinary approach to teaching that equips students with the flexibility and multifaceted skills – from language and animation, to mathematics and graphic design, to advertising and user experience design – required of successful game designers. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) in User Experience (UX) Design program in particular has been created in collaboration with Google to ensure that graduating UX designers are able to overcome challenges and offer multi-disciplinary solutions to reinvent how companies connect with consumers. 

Graduate Kyara Harilela described how SCAD students were “encouraged by professors across fields to work and learn from disciplines beyond our degree focus.” Graduate Thomas Cheung added, “Before starting at SCAD I had a narrow understanding of how gaming worked. I have now learnt how to turn my passion into a career, and to see how gaming operates as a business with endless opportunities for connecting people and expanding their horizons.” 

Enabling students to see and optimize their potential, unobstructed by stereotypes, is pivotal to how SCAD positions its students to become successful change agents. Lori Fujita, who came from Japan to study game design at SCAD Hong Kong, has thrived in its distinct educational environment. She said, “At SCAD, I have been given every opportunity to learn and have been shown that by getting out there and challenging myself there is nothing stopping me from breaking that glass ceiling and becoming a leader in the industry.” 

SCAD students have won the E3 College Game Competition three times in five years and have created critically acclaimed games. Graduates are prepared to launch successful careers as digital media entrepreneurs to develop interactive interfaces and to push boundaries in the creation of compelling new worlds.

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