Trinity Western University will launch new game development program in the fall. (TWU/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Control, alt, degree: Trinity Western University unveils bachelor program in gaming

Trinity Western to launch game development program this fall

Video game enthusiasts can put down the controller and pick up a gaming degree in the Fraser Valley. Trinity Western University has announced a new Bachelor of Arts degree in Game Development which officially launches this September.

The four-year program was spearheaded by TWU’s Dr. Kevin Schut, who authored the book Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games in 2013. He had been teaching theoretical and cultural criticism classes on gaming when he saw the potential for Christian courses.

“Gaming is a big part of the cultural landscape – but Christians don’t make up a big part of the industry,” Schut said. “I love gaming but there is a lot of dark and negative stuff in both video games and the games industry. We want to prepare students to take their faith into the workplace so they can change culture for the better.”

TWU is a Christian university of the arts, sciences, and professions that offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 17 graduate degrees, and adult degree-completion programs. It was founded in 1962 in Langley and enrolls 4,000 students on an annual basis.

Schut recalled several one-off classes in 2008 and 2011 where students were able to develop their own video game projects. He described those projects as the new program’s initial start.

“Those games were playable but that was about all that they could really do,” Schut explained. “But it was evidence that there is an interest in game development.”

After the release of Schuts’ book, game development courses were put in development themselves for the past five years. Now, the 2019/20 school year will welcome the first intake of students.

“There will be four different streams – art design, music and sound, software development, and then design itself which is a little more broad. It looks at the actual rules and play of a game; there’s also writing courses as well,” Schut said.

The new program is making use of TWU’s current facilities but plans are to expand their space on campus as interest grows.

“Right now there is a visual design lab,” Schut explained, “and we’ll have five to 10 part time instructors. We are looking at renovating spaces and having a new academic building for Game Development.”

READ MORE: Trinity Western professor awarded for tech excellence

At the end of their degree, graduates will come out of the program with a portfolio to take to game design companies.

“The idea is that the students will be coming in to mini-studios,” Schut added. “But it’s not all about programming and not just about making money either. Students are taught viable business models and taught to think more entrepreneurial.”

Though there are no requirements to design a specifically Christian-themed game, several courses incorperate faith, spiritually, morals, and ethics into business and storytelling practises.

Last summer, TWU lost its legal battle over accreditation for a planned law school. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of two Canadian law societies that sought to refuse accreditation to potential TWU students based on the school’s controversial Community Covenant. The covenant requires students and staff to abstain from sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage, among a number of other requirements.

Weeks later, TWU decided to make the covenant optional for students, though it is still required for staff.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

COLUMN: Search for Grace shows community’s true nature

As Chilliwack searches for missing woman, a writer looks back 61 years at a similar story

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

VIDEO: Agassiz farm spreads awareness for barn owls

Miel Bernstein hopes others will learn how they can help the threatened owl species

Fraser-Cascade school district hosts by-election to fill void left by passing of Tom Hendrickson

Advance voting begins on July 17, with general voting on July 27

Chilliwack cadet takes staff position in Comox

Air cadet one of about 20,000 youth enrolled in programs across Canada this summer

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Most Read