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Ya thats the problem isnt it. Once a course or college gets a bad name its hard to rectify the problem.

I think alot of the problem with these courses are that the staff in colleges dont like to admit that they’re strength or experience doesnt lie in gaming. Therefore they tryto teach new areas and subjects which they have little experience in.

Typically when a CS course tacks on a new module its easy for the lecturer to learn the course work then teach it. For example, a lecturer who already knows C or C++, then translates this knowledge and expertise so as to learn Java etc. to a sufficient level so as to teach the fundamentals etc. Just the bare bones of Java, not writing fancy apps to do graphics\physic simulations etc. Simple methods, class, inheritance etc, maybe a bit of ui.

Few CS courses have the luxury of hiring industry experienced people. Look at the ad which was on gamesindustry.biz for Abertay for about 12months. (dunno if its still there). Im sure theres loads of ads like these knocking about.

But teaching games its a little different because the amount of knowledge the lecturer needs to learn to teach it is pretty huge.

For example, taking the simplist case, to teach a course in realtime graphics, the lecturer may have to learn C (from scratch, yep they may have previously learned java or fortran or something else, it happens! its all down to the programming language which was the flavour of the month at the time they were in uni), causes its not their first language,
as well as learning a graphics API such as Opengl or D3D, as well as researching\learning about real-time graphics techniques. All of which are huge tasks in themselves. Because remember the majority of CS lecturers will not have done subjects like these themselves, unless they are hobbists. These are relatively new areas of computing( programming language exlcuded) and few CS degrees do ‘real-time graphics”. I cant think of one undergrad course.

So dont get me wrong lecturers arent at fault, this amount of knowledge which they have to consume and understand to a teaching level is pretty large and really difficult to do, as well as teach other courses as well as other uni\college responsibilities. So i take my hat off to anyone who attempts to do this. Fair play!

But I do think that courses which dont have experience industry folk guiding and teaching alongside the lecturers (for the initially 1-2 years, when the lecturers themselves will become industry savy) will not really prepare the students for what its like in the industry. Think college boards who are serious about games courses need to set aside the money and hire in help. Cause seems to me thats what is halting most of these msc etc. Colleges arent prepared to fork out the dosh.

Cause the cold fact is, it aint all games.. Its seriously hardcore coding and it aint getting easier. Just look at the complexity of the ps3 or 360. They aint no GBA (and that aint an easy thing to do stuff with either).

thats my 4 cents.. :)