SIT to offer gaming, animation courses

Game developer Nik Bartlett (20) works on his endless-runner game Supreme Mech Panda for the Gaming Art and Design paper at the Southern Institute of Technology yesterday. Photo: Sharon Reece
Game developer Nik Bartlett (20) works on his endless-runner game Supreme Mech Panda for the Gaming Art and Design paper at the Southern Institute of Technology yesterday. Photo: Sharon Reece
A career in game design has gone from being a ''fantasy'' to a viable option for students in the South.

Invercargill's Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) would be ''heavily focusing'' on gaming and animation courses from next year, SIT programme manager for creative industries Kathryn McCully said.

SIT announced its intention to develop a $15million creative centre in August, which would come with a push for the production of creative works, including coding, animation, and game development, she said.

The institute, which offered just a single elective paper in game design, found there was greater demand for such courses and from next year would begin offering level 5 and 6 courses in screen production and game design, she said.

''We see the influence of the screen as being a big focus of the future in terms of the creative industries.

The courses would give the institute a ''point of difference'', she said.

''We're creating a focus that's not happening anywhere else in the country.''

''You just have to look at the statistics in terms of jobs; in animation and gaming they're just hiring people from outside the country because there's not enough people here, so it's a big area for growth.''

Animation tutor and Invercargill Game Developers organiser Rachel Mann said being a game developer was once considered a ''fantasy job'', but was now a reality for students.

''Young people and their parents and teachers are starting to realise just what a legitimate career it is.

''It is a very real, very tangible career option ... as our animation and gaming industries have just flourished,'' she said.

 

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