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

Chilliwack’s oldest school, Central elementary, celebrates 90 years

Historic photos, scrap books, the school song all part of upcoming 90th celebration

The Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk strolls into Chilliwack next month

Photographers meet up to spend a few hours socializing, capturing images, and sharing with like-minded people

Libraries call on reading buddies, dads to take part in literacy programs in Chilliwack

The annual Reading Buddies program and the brand-new Man in the Moon story time start this month

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Chilliwack Chiefs blow out Prince George Spruce Kings in home opener

Ethan Bowen scored three goals as the Chiefs dumped their Mainland division rivals 6-2.

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Over 200 Hotel Georgia hospitality workers join ‘open-ended strike’

Unionized workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront have also walked out

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Hiker rescued after spending night on Crown Mountain

North Shore Rescue spotted the woman by helicopter over Hanes Valley

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read