The NYU Game Center is dedicated to the exploration of games as a cultural form and game design as creative practice. Our approach to the study of games is based on a simple idea: games matter. Just like other cultural forms – music, film, literature, painting, dance, theater – games are valuable for their own sake. Games are worth studying, not merely as artifacts of advanced digital technology, or for their potential to educate, or as products within a thriving global industry, but in and of themselves, as experiences that entertain us, move us, explore complex topics, communicate profound ideas, and illuminate elusive truths about ourselves, the world around us, and each other.
The Game Center is the Department of Game Design at the Tisch School of the Arts. Our mission is to graduate the next generation of game designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and critics, and to advance the field of games by creating a context for advanced scholarship and groundbreaking work. The Game Center’s students, both undergraduates and graduates, are drawn from diverse disciplines including computer programming, visual art, sound and audio, animation, writing, and joined together by the central discipline of game design.
We live in a time in which games are evolving in radical and important ways. Our students and faculty are defining the cultural landscape for the next hundred years.
More than just an academic department, the NYU Game Center is a community of people drawn together by their love of games.
Our students can arrive as programmers, designers or visual or audio developers. But they are just as likely to have backgrounds in theater, economics, education, engineering, political activism, philosophy, journalism, or a hundred other fields. The diversity of our student body reflects the collaborative, interdisciplinary nature of game design.
Our faculty represent some of the leading names in game design today. Frank Lantz and Eric Zimmerman are award-winning designers and entrepreneurs with decades of industry experience. Clara Fernandez Vara and Charles Pratt are defining forces in the emerging fields of game studies and criticism. Katherine Isbister and Bennett Foddy combine experimental design practice with innovative research on the psychology of play.
New York City plays an important role in our community as well. We are a nexus for the amazing NYC game scene, which includes pioneers like Games for Change, Babycastles, Different Games, Come Out and Play, The Institute of Play, IndieCade East, and Kill Screen.
The NYU Game Center teaching philosophy is based on a studio approach of hands-on game creation within a context of advanced critical literacy and sophisticated theoretical analysis.
This hands-on approach to teaching games draws from traditional art school and film school methods – students learn by doing and are expected to develop not only the skills and craft of game development but also a personal vision for the kinds of games they want to make and the ability to articulate how their work expresses that vision.
Our student projects include award-winning games, successful kickstarters, even commercial releases.
Our faculty projects reflect the diverse accomplishments of our teaching staff, from professional game development to groundbreaking research and scholarly writing.
Our yearly No Quarter exhibition commissions games from indie developers. Some of these No Quarter projects, like Nidhogg and Killer Queen have gone on to become famous and influential games.