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Brunel University launches new MA for budding games designers

The programme, led by Dr Tanya Krzywinska, a Reader in Film and Television Studies at Brunel's School of Arts, is aimed at those with an interest in games design and is open to postgraduate students without any technical knowledge of Maya or 3D Studio Max.

The course is unique in its intense focus on the relationships between design and theory, looking at the fundamentals of game design rather than simply teaching students to use game-making software. The aim is that students will be encouraged to break new ground and attract new audiences to the world of digital games.

“There are many markets that simply aren't being served,“ maintains Dr Krzywinska, who is the vice president of the Digital Games Research Association. “Young girls especially, are excluded, as games are undoubtedly geared towards boys. But there are also educational markets, older women, older men, intellectuals and,“ she adds, “people who just aren't interested in the traditional war or driving games. It's these people who we're hoping the new intake of students will be designing for.“

“Games companies are presently focused on creating greater graphical realism. They remake a limited number of tried and tested game formats and give them a new lease of life by making them look more realistic“ Dr Krzywinska continues: “We'll be going back to basics and looking at what makes for a good game, rather than letting graphics dictate the format, or simply replicating what's successful and happening at the moment. We'll be asking questions like: why has the game industry become so narrowly focused? What is it that makes a good and enjoyable game? And, what innovations can we bring to the current market?'

Also teaching on the course will be Steve Jackson, founder of Games Workshop, the author of interactive fiction such as Sorcery! and executive board member of Lionhead Studios, as well as a range of game design professionals who will hold workshops.

The MA in Digital Games: Theory and Design begins in October 2006, at the School of Arts Brunel University, London. The course will be one year full-time, or two years part-time. Enquiries to or visit: /courses/pg/cdata/d/digital+games+theory+and+design+ma/full+details