Games For Everyone – on WMHT’s New York Now

by Mary Martialay on August 1, 2011

WMHT's Marie Cusick interviews GSAS graduate Sheila Porter

WMHT's Marie Cusick interviews GSAS graduate Sheila Porter

WMHT’s New York Now recently aired a story about out the changing face of video games featuring Rensselaer’s own Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program.

New York Now Innovation Trail reporter Marie Cusick spoke with Lee Sheldon, co-director of the GSAS program and last week visited Rensselaer’s Computer Game Development Academy, a two-week summer program for high school students looking to explore games and simulation as a study and career choice.

At the game development academy, she spoke with Sheila Porter, a senior in the GSAS program and a teaching assistant in the summer academy, as well as Philippe Kimura-Thollander, a high school senior from Eastchester, N.Y., and student in the program about the future of gaming and of the prospect for success in the industry. Said Porter of her choice of study:

Games are nowhere near as narrow as they used to be. … Games are becoming a lot more relevant, a lot more people are paying attention to them, and there’s a lot more potential for saying something that way.

The story, which you can find here, and which will air around the state over the next few weeks, including WNET in New York City, reports that “despite a recession, the industry is bringing in new customers, billions of dollars and a lot of students who want to learn the tricks of the trade.”

The New York Now story reminds me of a little housekeeping that got sidelined in the end-of-semester rush : the results of this year’s GameFest. The WMHT visit seems as good a chance as any to offer that the results of GameFest have been posted on the GSAS website.

GSAS co-directors Sheldon and Ben Chang, having had a chance to digest, said the final tally included 33 games – 28 from Rensselaer and five from Champlain College.

Here’s what Ben Chang had to say:

It was the largest GameFest yet, with record attendance, a terrific exhibition of games and research projects, and a stimulating day of panels and guest speakers. The guest judges from Vicarious Visions highlighted the professional level of presentation throughout the event, and the sophistication and creativity that students today are capable of achieving in their games.

“Tic” by Red Candy Games, the first-place winner in this year’s competition, is now available on XBox Live Indie Games. The tradition of creative presentation continued, with teams bringing costumes, themed refreshments, and a small house built on-site from recycled cardboard.

We’re looking forward to next year, as GSAS works to grow GameFest into a truly regional showcase of area gaming companies, talent, and training.

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