As more video game industries move to Louisiana, the University’s Center for Computation and Technology is proposing a new digital arts and engineering master’s degree program to help students meet increased market demands.
Marc Aubanel, director of Digital Media Arts and Engineering in the CCT, said the entry level requirements for the industry have changed since his time there.
Aubanel worked for Electronic Arts for 14 years before coming to the University. His previous work includes production and development of titles such as “FIFA Triple Play,” “Need for Speed” and “Marvel Nemesis.”
“Now, companies don’t train their staff,” Aubanel said. “They expect them to be trained.”
The proposed program will offer students a unique, industry oriented experience using hands-on projects, Aubanel said.
In the video game industry, every project is a product of team efforts, and program participants will consistently work in groups, Aubanel said. The goal is to create a work-like environment.
Aubanel said studies indicate that Louisiana has the potential to create 23,000 jobs in the digital media and software industry in the next 20 years.
Gamer habits and demographics have also changed in recent years. According to The Electronic Software Association, 36 percent of Americans play games on their smartphones and 45 percent of video game players are women.
“We need more diversity in the gaming industry,” Aubanel said. “Right now there’s a ‘built by a teenage boy’ attitude.”
Aubanel said there are only 44 other graduate programs like the proposed degree in the United States, and this will be the first in Louisiana.
If finalized, the CCT’s new digital arts and engineering master’s degree program is projected to begin next fall.