DEC 07, 2021
Ohio University launches virtual reality and game development major
OCT 09, 2021
If you want to build a career in immersive technologies, you can start by getting your degree in this field. Starting this fall, Ohio University is offering a Virtual Reality and Game Development (VRGD) undergraduate major. Throughout the program, students will learn how to use modern immersive technology primarily for communication purposes, with a focus on the aspects of ethical and social improvements.
The new program received approval for creation from the Ohio University Board of Trustees in April 2021 and was later also approved by the state of Ohio and the Higher Learning Commission.
In making this addition to their educational offer, the University acknowledged the fact that there is a need for trained and skilled professionals in emerging technologies. Thus, higher learning institutions should be able to equip students with the abilities and knowledge required by the new jobs now available on the labor market, such as VR developer, game developer, 3D artist, and 36-degree filmmaker.
The Virtual Reality and Game Development major will be available at the Scripps College of Communication in the J. Warren McClure School of Emerging Communication Technologies.
“We expect that as the requirements for delivering ultra-high quality immersive experiences increase, our students will be in a strong position to understand not only state of the art VR/AR and game development technologies but how the underlying communications technology could be used,” Dr. Julio Aráuz, associate professor and director of the McClure School, said in a press release.
In order to be eligible to enroll in this major, students should minor in either business or communication studies. These minors give students the background knowledge they need to understand the concepts taught during the major.
“Students in the program will take courses in the fundamentals of networking technology and scripting. This will allow them to gain a better ability to design solutions that efficiently employ resources to deliver high quality experiences,” said Aráuz explaining what students can expect to learn during the course.“This makes our VRGD program unique, as all students will have access to information networking and Internet of Things lab environments, giving them the opportunity to create distinctive experiences.”
The students who choose the Virtual Reality and Game Development major will be able to use the Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab, which is open to all Scripps College students. The lab is equipped with various new technologies, which allows students to test their theoretical knowledge and acquire practical skills.
The director of the lab, associate professor John Bowditch, explained some of the facilities students can use:
“Each student will have access to our Motion Lab, XR Lab, cine-VR Labs, GRID Lab Studios (video, audio, VR, augmented reality, and gaming gear checkout room), and the Mixed Reality Course (VR obstacle course). We want our students to take full advantage of the GRID Lab on their very first day of school.”
The Virtual Reality and Game Development major offered by Ohio University is the outcome of over 15 years of investing in games and interactive technologies research. The McClure School’s graduates are now working for top companies that develop immersive experiences, such as Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Unity, Apple, and Google.
With this latest major, Ohio University wants to ensure that the immersive technologies industry will continue to thrive, through young and enthusiastic professionals, who have the latest skills and abilities to build competitive products and content.