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access_time May 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM in Features by Josh Boykin

University of Texas at Austin starts new Denius-Sams Gaming Academy

Warren Spector

If us gamers have anything to do with it, gaming’s not going anywhere soon. It’s a market worth tens of billions of dollars each year, and if you’re planning to take a piece of that pie it’ll take…well, it’ll take a game, but it’ll take more than that, too. University of Texas – Austin is teaming up with leaders in the video game industry to teach students more than just how to make it in the industry of games through their new Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, a highly-competitive post-baccalaureate program designed to teach the creative and management-based sides of the industry. Headed by Warren Spector and Paul Sams, the school will take on 20 students during its first term in fall of 2014.

For those unfamiliar with the names, Warren Spector has been in the industry for 30 years, working on games like Ultima, System Shock, Deus Ex, and the Disney Epic Mickey games. Paul Sams is continuing his 17-year career with Blizzard Entertainment, currently working as the Chief Operating Officer. Both Spector and Sams will both serve as part-time instructors in the school. They plan to combine their talents with other top industry professionals to teach a skill-set unlike those coming out of other gaming-based curriculum. Spector released a statement about the school, saying:

What differentiates the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy is that it will focus explicitly on the bigger creative leadership aspects of game development — on the management and production side and on the creative leadership side. This is a space that’s not being filled by the other programs, and it will make the academy unique.

Competition for entrance into the program will be fierce, no doubt. Acceptance into the program comes with a full tuition waiver and a $10,000 stipend to help with housing costs and fees, perks which anyone with student loans out already would likely be thrilled to hear about. Students will work in teams to create small-scale games over the course of 12 months. But if the idea of making a career in games is up your alley, then something like this probably sounds like heaven. The program is meant to complement UT-Austin’s Video Game Development undergrad program as a joint cooperation between the College of Communication, College of Fine Arts, and the Department of Computer Science, but they’re accepting applicants from all over the world.

For more information, check out the UT-Austin College of Communication.


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