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Education Op-Ed: ‘From the Outside Looking In’

Education Op-Ed: ‘From the Outside Looking In’

May 15, 2008 | By Jill Duffy

May 15, 2008 | By Jill Duffy
More: Console/PC

Brian Nathanson attended a game school and feels it left him underprepared to apply for jobs in the game industry. Sharing his story and opinions on, he wonders if part of the problem is that game studios won’t take a chance on an inexperienced candidate, even if he is a game school graduate.

In the world of game development, there are many unresolved issues between students, educators, and the industry. What’s worse is that each party seems to have a different idea of what these issues are, what’s causing them, and how to mitigate them. Nathanson’s op-ed is his own personal perspective, yet it may shed light on how other game school graduates see things. He writes:

“Two years ago, I moved from Ohio to Arizona to pursue my dream of becoming a part of the industry. I attended a school that offered the promise that with hard work, the school would provide the education and support I needed to learn skills I had never learned before. I was told that over the course of my studies, a powerful portfolio would be created and my degree would confer confidence to game developers because the school was known and accredited.

Needless to say, nothing of the sort has come to pass. Such is the story of many of my acquaintances and friends as well who dream of nothing more than to work hard and make that next stellar video game.

This article is not a lamentation, nor is it meant to place blame on anyone for my personal shortcomings. There are probably many reasons why I failed to get even so much as a phone interview. …

I believe the industry needs to allow for outside and inexperienced people to reinvigorate the game development process. I believe that those who have a shipped title on their resumes, while talented and dedicated, perhaps are closer to burning out than an individual out to make his or her mark.

The reason I bring up the issue of burn out is because the game industry seems to be in a perpetual state of start-ups that spring off from established development studios. New studios understandably don’t want some inexperienced person with a mixed portfolio and no projects or titles. It’s very risky. However, I believe that a new studio should take some risk to recruit hungry and fresh outsiders instead of just looking for people who may already be disaffected by their own careers.”

Nathanson’s op-ed, “From the Outside Looking In,” is printed in full on

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