This week on The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show my guest is Eric Zimmerman, a professor at NYU’s Game Center. Game Center is an entire program at NYU that sits right next to the film school and offers classes in game design, production, and criticism. Not only do Game Center students have access to a library of over 7000 new and classic games - they are actually required to play many of them for class.
In this episode we discuss what games go on the syllabus, what makes a game great, and what classics students groan about having to play. As Eric repeatedly reassured me during the interview, this is 100% a real thing.
From the Game Center’s FAQ:
What will I learn during my time in the Game Center MFA program?
The Game Center offers specialized classes that will help you refine your skills in one or more areas of game development, such as game programming or game design. However, the most important things you will learn transcend these more narrow areas of expertise. Some of these larger key skills include solving problems through design and iteration, best practices for creative collaboration and teamwork, and understanding how to analyze games on multiple levels, from their mathematics and aesthetics to their history and culture.
What is a Game Center MFA thesis?
Every student’s experience culminates in the creation of a thesis project, which is the focus of the second year. In most cases, a thesis project is a group collaborating to create an original digital game. However, some students may choose to create a game off the computer (perhaps a collectable card game, or a large-scale game event) or to work on their own. Students with a criticism focus may end up creating a website, series of podcasts, game exhibition, or research paper.
This is my favorite kind of Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show - something that you probably didn’t know existed, but after hearing about it you think, “Of course! Why wouldn’t that be a thing?” I really enjoyed getting to talk to Eric, and am already cooking up excuses to get him back on the show.
The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show comes out Tuesdays on iTunes, YouTube, and JeffRubinJeffRubinShow.com.