09/07/2015 After Hours LLC

University digital art seniors Cameron Bragg (left) and Tylar Spencer (right) in the process of helping to develop their own video game, entitled "Space Shrimp" on September 7, 2015 at After Hours Lab. LLC.

The University was named one of the Top Ten Game Design Schools and Colleges by The Animation Career Review. The University has ranked ninth place in the south and is the only university in Louisiana and in the Southeastern Conference Southeastern Conference to be ranked in the top ten.

The program director of the University’s Digital Media Arts and Engineering Program (DMAE), Marc Aubanel, was not expecting to be ranked within the Top Ten.

“We never actually submitted an application to be ranked,” Aubanel said. “This was done on their behalf in regards to our video games.”

According to the DMAE website, their goal is “to be one of the top graduate-level interactive, media and entertainment technology programs in the world.” The program is designed to teach students leadership skills, creativity and “technical prowess and design excellence in digital media.”

The program is located in the LSU Center for Computation and Technology. There are about one hundred students in the minor and nine hundred students in the major for DMAE. Aubanel said he’d like to see more students become involved with DMAE and take an interest in computer science.

The DMAE has been hosting the Red Stick International Digital Media Festival for the past three years. Recently in 2018, it had guests such as the creators of Fortnite, famous Twitch streamers and people involved in Electronic Sports.

“It’s an incredible amount of work, very rewarding, to have met over 25 video game professionals from as far as New Zealand,” Aubanel said. “We’re hoping to host a fourth. We usually host an annual tour of Game of Studios, and we’ll maybe expand that to neighboring cities, as far as Lafayette and Shreveport.”

The DMAE has a diverse range of professors and doctors, that provide support to their students throughout their educational journey. Aubanel said the staff at DMAE are very “student centric” and care about where their students end up after graduation.

“We’ve got a good mixture where we’ve come from the industry of thirty plus years in visual effects and twenty plus years in video games,” Aubanel said. “We’ve got researchers who work in the field as well who are looking at visualization.”

Aubanel said he thinks the field has grown beyond just entertainment for children, and now serves people of every age group and interest.

“Video game techniques are now being used in feature films, virtual reality projects, in design firms projects such as billboards and building cars,” Aubanel said. “The skills we teach in the program really reach out to so many different programs, and I think that it’s just growing. I think that the people  applying are going from entertainment to launch some serious websters to really create something.”

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