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Video: Game educators rant about design, diversity and jobs
June 24, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff

June 24, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Video

Free courtesy of GDC Vault is the Game Educators Rant from GDC 2013, featuring Jose Zagal on the best games for learning design, Clara Fernandez-Vara on job ads and hiring practices, Ian Schreiber on diversity in education, and Michael Mateas on answering the question "What do you teach?"

Session Name: Game Educators Rant

Speaker(s): Michael Mateas, Jose Zagal, Clara Fernandez-Vara, Ian Schreiber

Company Name(s): UC Santa Cruz, DePaul University, MIT, Independent

Track / Format: GDC Education Summit

Description: This session will consist of a series of enlightening rants by veteran educators and game scholars. Experience different perspectives on students, schools, pedagogy, the relationship between academia and industry, and the future of game education as presented this cast of colleagues: Clara Fernandez-Vara, Michael Mateas, Ian Schreiber, and Jose Zagal.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

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Ramin Shokrizade
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Ian Schreiber rocks. I would love to have all game developers and HR staff listen to his rant.

Dr. Fernandez-Vara raises interesting issues that have parallels in my field. Given how few people know how to do AAA monetization design, the job descriptions I see (written by people that have never seen anyone that can do what they are seeking) look exactly like her "unicorns". I visit 20 to 25 studios a year, often just to explain what I do and why so that down the road these studios will know what is possible with their future products. Sometimes studios desperately need me but won't hire me because I don't look like their unicorn. It is not unusual that 6 to 12 months later they contact me again after not having found their unicorn, but by then they have waited so long that their product is no longer a good candidate for my technologies (since they have to be integrated with the core game design).

There are almost a dozen positions in the interactive media industry that are so rare that we don't even know what to call them yet. We don't even know how to ask interview questions for these individuals. My best experience was when a studio called me in and asked me to solve a problem that no one at their studio could solve, as a test of my skills. This seems like the most practical approach, since unicorns don't always look the way you want them to on paper.