Considering a Game Design Degree? What to Know - South Arkansas Sun

About 3 billion people globally play digital games, according to industry research, and the field is only growing.

"Definitely make sure that it's something you want to do for eight hours a day," says Miriam Harries, an advanced game designer at Schell Games, a game development company based in Pittsburgh.

"It's way more collaborative than a lot of people expect," Harries says. "If you are not a good collaborator, you will not go very far, and you will not have a fun time."

"Working in games is not one career path, but many different career paths," explains Jessica Hammer, interim associate director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.

"The most important thing that you are going to walk out the door with is not your credential, but your portfolio," says Hammer, who conducts research on transformational games that are designed to influence a person's thoughts, feelings or behaviors.

Aspiring game designers rarely appreciate the size of the gaming industry and the number of employment options within it, Huntley says. In fact, the international gaming industry is bigger and produces more revenue than the global film industry.

The median annual salary among U.S. video game designers was $79,890 in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts that employment within the field in 2030 will be 10% to 15% higher than it was in 2020.

According to Harries, the best aspect of the game development field is being surrounded by fascinating coworkers. "I get to work with really awesome, creative people, and that's super fun," she says.

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