Interactive and Motion Arts major answers demand.
On the surface, the digital gaming community is a muscly, male-dominated guy-fest. A recent survey released by the Entertainment Software Association reveals that in fact women make up about half of the gaming population. Not only is there an increase of ladies at the consoles, there’s also an influx of female game developers, designers and animators. That’s why Moore College of Art & Design has introduced their latest major, Interactive and Motion Arts.
This doesn’t mean that Moore is branching out academically or attempting to increase enrollment, administrators say. The major is a response to student demand. “It came together out of a conversation at the school that was based on student interests,” explains the major’s Assistant Professor, Geoff Beatty.
He admits that since he was hired recently, he didn’t participate in the ongoing conversation, but that doesn’t stifle his enthusiasm. “The college is really behind it,” says Beatty. “I built another program at a different institute and I did not have the same support. The faculty and students are all very supportive. I think everyone sees the value of the major and how it interacts with fine arts.”
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This makes sense because Moore is, after all, an art school. The program is designed to keep art as the main objective. “It’s an arts and animation-focused major,” explains Beatty, “and it’ll be geared towards students interested in making art for games.” There are currently six students enrolled, and Beatty believes that the class will only expand by the end of the semester.
“It’s only going to keep growing,” he says. Considering the increasing number of female gamers and creators, a major like this, being taught at a women’s art college, is important. “Sadly, women are underrepresented as far as artists and producers. This is a unique position to be able to address that head on,” says Beatty.
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If you’re interested in learning more about the program, about game development or you just want to rub elbows with industry leaders, check out Moore’s “Game Changers” event. In conjunction with Philadelphia Game Lab’s Grassroots Game Conference, Moore will host panels and keynotes from the industry’s leading women. Thurs., Oct. 17, 12 – 6:30 p.m., Moore College of Art & Design, 1916 Race St., 215-965-4000, www.moore.edu.