10 September 2015
Get ready to go up a level as the University of the Sunshine Coast offers Australia’s first Bachelor of Serious Games in 2016.
This innovative degree will equip graduates with the skills and experience to apply games to fields including health care, education and marketing.
USC’s first-class simulation environments and digital technology will give students the chance to specialise in game art, interactive narrative or programming.
USC Professor of Disruptive Technologies Stuart Smith said games were no longer just a form of entertainment but were increasingly utilised to take on real-world needs.
“Serious games use the principles of games and play and apply them to things outside leisure and recreation,” Professor Smith said.
“We can look at creating games for rehabilitating someone who has had a stroke, addressing youth mental health issues or engaging new customers in the marketing world.
“This degree has the scope to expand our notion of what games are.
“Navigating your way through a degree is somewhat like a game anyway – you start out without many skills, you level up, you gain skills, and your skills are tested and challenged.”
Professor Smith said the Serious Games degree would appeal to people interested in programming and coding, as well as those with interests in creative fields like design and storytelling.
“We want to attract people who may not be that capable of coding, but who have a creative spark and are story tellers,” he said.
“I think we will also see students interested in taking on real world problems – people who might traditionally enrol in a Business program, for instance, because of the potential business-related applications of serious games.”
Interactive Games & Entertainment Association CEO Ron Curry said graduates of the program would have a range of career paths open to them across industries.
“The application of games is quite wide, and it’s absolutely a growing field,” Mr Curry said.
“There’s a whole lot of industries they could work in – healthcare, education, even things like mining, where you’re teaching people to operate machinery.”
USC will introduce a range of new study programs in 2016, including a Bachelor of Sports Studies, a combined Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Criminology and Justice and a Bachelor of Environmental Management.
For more information go to www.usc.edu.au/rise-and-shine
— Gen Kennedy