Murdoch University Prepares Graduates for Creative Careers in Games

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With the international games and digital design industry growing at an extremely rapid rate, Murdoch University is helping to meet the skills shortage with a new degree focused on the creative elements of the games industry.

Games companies compete more fiercely than ever for creative people with the right qualifications

In an effort to provide the growing games industry with skilled graduates, Murdoch University has launched Western Australia's first three-year degree in Games Art and Design.

According to Christopher Smyth, Dean of the School of Media Communication and Culture, Murdoch's new degree aims to foster students' creative talents and provide a broader university education to provide formal qualifications for this relatively new industry.

"In 2007, the $18 billion international games industry grew by 40%, creating a shortage of skilled games employees. We've created a course to help students handle the opportunities and challenges they're likely to face in the games industry in Australia and abroad," said Smyth. "Unlike other games-oriented courses, this course focuses wholly on the creative aspects of games."

Marc Loveridge, Managing Director of Perth digital agency Market United, supports the need for a course to provide specialised creative skills to the games industry.

"Games companies compete more fiercely than ever for creative people with the right qualifications," said Loveridge.

"At the moment, two major games companies are hiring game artists and programmers here in Perth. Within Australia, around 15 game companies advertise new positions every month," he added.

The Games Art and Design course, beginning in Semester One 2009, will be run by games art guru Josh Whitkin. Whitkin has arrived in Perth after working in the U.S. games industry for 15 years.

"Students are self-fuelled, creative and ambitious," said Whitkin. "They use our degree as a launchpad, developing the practical skills needed to break into the games industry, as well as the critical thinking and other fundamentals they'll need to advance and maybe even change the world."

For more information about the Games Art and Design course at Murdoch University, please visit murdoch.edu.au/gamesart.

About Murdoch University:
Murdoch University is located in Perth, Western Australia and has a student population of over 15,000 including 3,000 international students. With the largest university campus in Australia, Murdoch has a national reputation for excellence in teaching, research and student satisfaction and recently achieved a five-star rating for graduate satisfaction with the release of the 2009 Good Universities Guide.

Contact:
Josh Whitkin
Lecturer - Games Art & Design
Murdoch University
t: +61 8 9360 6244
murdoch.edu.au/gamesart

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