Sat through portions of GDAP’s Game Development Festival’s Developers Summit yesterday. Gained a few insights but most of the discussions simply raised concerns as far as the local game development industry is concerned. I’d take on some of them perhaps on other posts. In this one, I’d rather focus on the proposed BS in Entertainment and Multimedia Computing which GDAP has been pushing to CHED.
The idea’s novel and I do admire the design. There is a strong balance of the technical aspect and general eduction. It being a 5-year 189-unit program makes it quite holistic. However, I have two major concerns, both of which are not really academic ones.
Private Schools Only
Realistically, the schools who will capable of establishing such programs are private schools given their resources. State colleges and universities will be stymied by the lack of resources and the large amount of bureaucratic hoopla to get new courses instituted. UP, in fact, (according to Dr. Jim Caro) does not have any intention in putting up such a course.
Tendency for Industry Preference
By default, the industry will most likely prefer graduates of these degrees. GDAP essentially pushes the establishment the requirements and competencies for game development professionals by pushing for this degree. Not exactly a bad thing.
But what will happen to the other talents who might not have such degrees? Many game development professionals I know, particularly artists, are not graduates of such degrees. Many, in fact, are not even graduates of bachelors degrees. There is then a decreased chance, thanks to the system, for such professionals who rely mostly on talent.
In essence these two concerns can be merged into one possibility – a creation of a hegemonic game development industry. Today, the industry is comprador-driven. If future game development professionals will also come from a specific bloc of society, then what the program only does is to limit opportunity.
To give equal access to all Filipinos to the local game development industry then, the government must ensure that state colleges and universities get a chance. But with the education budget cut again by an administration that promises change, fat chance.
Sure, one can argue that it is always a professional’s responsibility to improve oneself. And that a college degree is nothing but proof that one has had the means to take tests and passed them. But since educational attainment is an institutionalized gatekeeper, then how about the rest of the marginalized talents who are interested in participating.
Do not get me wrong. I think the proposed program is awesome and will help improve the industry’s future pool of people power. I simply think that aside from pushing this course, the industry must also lobby for the support in making sure that the course can be implemented by ALL schools and that the government makes sure that even select state colleges and universities will be offering the program.