It isn’t often that parents root for their kids’ “Guitar Hero” skills or encourage them to devote more time to video games, let alone inspire them to focus on gaming as a career path.
Contrary to the unhealthy practices of video game-addicted couch potatoes, however, students who select the recently developed video-game programming concentration at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) develop a background in computer science theory with the practice of applied programming, allowing them to become well-versed in multimedia, including graphic design, game design, level editing and 3-D modeling. They graduate with a greater advantage than their peers in an industry that is growing quickly, even in the face of a potential recession.
Donald J. (D.J.) Kehoe, 28-year-old adjunct professor and assistant to the director for IT at NJIT, heads a 12-class, game-programming concentration that the school officially launched last fall. “[There’s a] high demand from the students, and there’s a growing industry for it,” Kehoe said, “[so] when I had the opportunity to create it, I went for it.”
The school hosted its semi-annual “Game Expo” this month, giving students a chance to show off their proficiency in video-game development, as well as their skill at playing popular video games — from Rock Band and Guitar Hero to Smash Brothers and other fighting games.
“[The atmosphere] is pretty laid-back, except for the occasional outcry of triumph and defeat,” Kehoe said.
Not All Fun and Games
One of the basic…
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