Sunday, 27 April 2014

Life Changing or Career Building?

With the games industry being what it is, a fringe of the creative industry it is very tricky to know how to educate people for the industry. There is a great deal of technical knowledge, understanding and thought process which you need to have to be successful within the industry. Much of this is also quite specific to this creative industry however this can definitely be taught and probably in less time than 3 years which leaves the possibility of a great artist or programmer being hired and taught the skills while working or while on an internship. While that may have been the technique used at the start of the industry its got to the point now where that isn't necessarily the most efficient way of hiring people.

Why would you hire someone who has less experience of the technology and techniques over someone who has spent 3 years learning how to do things and has been able to play with these techniques to find out new and interesting ways to do things or find out how definitely not to do things? Under the guise of needing people with a good liberal arts background? Well personally I feel that the views displayed in the brief are not as opposing as they seem.

"Some game companies want highly trained graduate artists and programmers. 
Some claim they really prefer creative individuals with a good Liberal Arts 
background. They can’t both be right can they? How can education meet these 
opposing views and yet provide a valid and fulfilling experience to students?"

Is a master painter not both a highly trained artist and a creative individual with a good liberal art background? I'm not saying that people on this course end as master painters but I'm meaning to question the idea that you can't be both highly trained and have a good liberal arts background. I feel having been on the course for 2 years now that we aren't being taught to focus on games and nothing else; if anything we're being persuaded to open out to more than games, and focus on art in general, focus on politics and life. We are learning the technical skills and being taught how to learn. The later being something that I wish I had had better earlier on in my life, the course goes a bit further than my brother telling me to play with software if I want to achieve a certain result, "the more you play around the more you'll learn" he said. Well that has been explained further while on this course 13 years later.

With the whole degree or no degree thing there has been an interesting article floating around recently which made me think about this a great deal more than I had previously. This article discusses what developers think of education, however this is more looking at game design instead of game art. I found it very interesting as I have never felt that University puts you above anyone or that having a degree in game art would make me a better hire than anyone else however I did think that I may be given 3 years to focus on becoming a better artist. That is the important thing, university/a degree is what you make it, it is 3 years to make mistakes to learn techniques to gain a better understanding of both the fundamentals of art and the technical aspects of game creation and pipelines.

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