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Teach them interaction design, gameplay design, first, and only then let them worry about storytelling. Thou shalt teach not only game development, but also the history of games, the analysis of games, and the sociology of gaming.
Be sure your students understand the roots of the medium. First-year student projects nowadays often build s arcade games that are actually as good as anything we built back then.
So they might as well know about those old games and learn from them. The medium is now sufficiently old that some students are younger than the games they are studying. Analysis of games is an excellent way to observe the principles of game design in practice.
And, for that matter, why a failure was a failure. We build them to sell to people, and so the question is, who are those people and how and why do they play? Relationships with industry are key to getting your students placed in jobs after they graduate, and as you know, this is one standard by which your program will be measured.
Developing these relationships pays dividends in various ways: Bringing them in for the students will not only drive home your points assuming that they agree with youit will also make your students grateful to you. Bite the bullet and pay them to come and teach. You have to pursue these relationships.
You have to go to them. Industry rarely contacts higher education institutions looking for potential employees — they know all they have to do is put an ad on their website to be flooded with applicants. So instead of expecting industry to pull, you need to push. These people will need games tuned to their own cultures. One last related point: Some people might just want a Ph. This goes double for the game industry, which is very entrepreneurial.
Nobody knows how many jobs there are in the game industry, because nobody knows how many indie developers there are. Furthermore, nobody has any idea how many jobs there will be in three or four years, when the students graduate. Thou shalt require teamwork. Thou shalt teach project management, and gently discourage over-ambitious projects. From talking to industry people, teamwork experience seems to be the number one thing they want an academic game program to teach. And the number one reason why game projects fail is lack of management skills and failures of internal communication.
It is imperative that you make students work together in teams and learn how to do it efficiently. Let me talk about team sizes for a moment. Two or three programmers, two or three artists or animators, two or three designers, a writer, and a team leader. If someone has music composition skills, that person may often be shared among several teams — which in fact mimics the situation at real companies.
Team sizes at the University of Ulster are similar. Be sure the teams are big enough to include some redundancy. Teach your project managers or team leaders: Above all, emphasize the importance of finishing — the need to complete and ship. The fact is, on a first-year student game development project, especially a group project, the students have been thrown in at the deep end of the pool. We learn far more from failure than from success.
But you should also punish those who do not learn from their failure, and continue to fail. Require each student to write a reflective report on the project, and to keep a project diary.Earfold - Correggere le orecchie a sventola con un mini-intervento
They must attend the build meetings, and of course they must have actually contributed to the work. But the quality of the resulting game is not relevant.
As you probably already know, you will get some students coming in who think a game degree is going to be all fun and games, what we used to call a Mickey Mouse course. One good way to weed them out is by not allowing any game development at all in the fall semester of freshman year. In their final projects, thou shalt encourage thinking outside the box.
Nobody in the industry is going to pay them to be weird. This is an art form, not civil engineering. There are good and bad design principles, but almost any design rule can be broken under certain circumstances. You will undoubtedly have to put up with some of that. A team from the University of Ulster wanted to make a game called Bathroom Buccaneers, about tiny pirate ships in a toilet bowl — along with the kinds of things one might encounter in a toilet bowl.
They did, and they ended up representing Ireland in the finals. If you want to be taken seriously, you also have to take yourself seriously — at least to some degree. Their final project is also the most important part of their portfolio. You need to offer them some freedom here, and to encourage them to express themselves to the best of their ability.
But emphasize that they need to stand out from the rest of the crowd. And these agricultural producers are not "farmers" in most senses of the word; they are "agribusiness," which is arguably the most capital-intensive, most technology-intensive, and most information-intensive industry around.
Traditional farmers are close to extinction even in Japan. And those that remain have become a protected species kept alive only by enormous subsidies. The second-largest group in the population and work force of every developed country around was composed of live-in servants. They were considered as much a law of nature as farmers were.
Census categories of the time defined a "lower middle class" household as one that employed fewer than three servants, and as a percentage of the work force domestics grew steadily up to the First World War.
Eighty years later live-in domestic servants scarcely exist in developed countries. Few people born since the Second World War—that is, few people under fifty—have even seen any except on the stage or in old movies.
In the developed society of farmers are little but objects of nostalgia, and domestic servants are not even that. Yet these enormous transformations in all developed free-market countries were accomplished without civil war and, in fact, in almost total silence. Only now that their farm population has shrunk to near zero do the totally urban French loudly assert that theirs should be a "rural country" with a "rural civilization. Farmers were loudly adjured to "raise less corn and more hell," but they paid little attention.
Domestic servants were clearly the most exploited class around. But when people before the First World War talked or wrote about the "social question," they meant blue-collar industrial workers. Blue-collar industrial workers were still a fairly small minority of the population and work force—right up to they made up an eighth or a sixth of the total at most—and were still vastly outnumbered by the traditional lower classes of farmers and domestic servants.
But early twentieth-century society was obsessed with blue-collar workers, fixated on them, bewitched by them. Farmers and domestic servants were everywhere. But as classes, they were invisible.
Domestic servants lived and worked inside individual homes or on individual farms in small and isolated groups of two or three. Farmers, too, were dispersed. More important, these traditional lower classes were not organized. Indeed, they could not be organized.
Slaves employed in mining or in producing goods had revolted frequently in the ancient world—though always unsuccessfully. But there is no mention in any book I ever read of a single demonstration or a single protest march by domestic servants in any place, at any time. There have been peasant revolts galore.
But except for two Chinese revolts in the nineteenth century—the Taiping Rebellion, in midcentury, and the Boxer Rebellion, at the century's end, both of which lasted for years and came close to overturning the regime—all peasant rebellions in history have fizzled out after a few bloody weeks.
Peasants, history shows, are very hard to organize and do not stay organized—which is why they earned Marx's contempt. The new class, industrial workers, was extremely visible.
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This is what made these workers a "class. And they soon proved eminently organizable, with the first strikes occurring almost as soon as there were factory workers. Charles Dickens's harrowing tale of murderous labor conflict, Hard Times, was published inonly six years after Marx and Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto.
By it had become quite clear that industrial workers would not become the majority, as Marx had predicted only a few decades earlier. They therefore would not overwhelm the capitalists by their sheer numbers.
Yet the most influential radical writer of the period before the First World War, the French ex-Marxist and revolutionary syndicalist Georges Sorel, found widespread acceptance for his thesis that the proletarians would overturn the existing order and take power by their organization and in and through the violence of the general strike.
It was not only Lenin who made Sorel's thesis the foundation of his revision of Marxism and built around it his strategy in and Both Mussolini and Hitler—and Mao, ten years later—built their strategies on Sorel's thesis.
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Mao's "power grows out of the barrel of a gun" is almost a direct quote from Sorel. The industrial worker became the "social question" of because he was the first lower class in history that could be organized and could stay organized. No class in history has ever risen faster than the blue-collar worker.
And no class in history has ever fallen faster. Inthe year of Marx's death, "proletarians" were still a minority not just of the population but also of industrial workers.
The majority in industry were then skilled workers employed in small craft shops, each containing twenty or thirty workers at most.
Of the anti-heroes of the nineteenth century's best "proletarian" novel, The Princess Casamassima, by Henry James—published in and surely only Henry James could have given such a title to a story of working-class terrorists! By "industrial worker" had become synonymous with "machine operator" and implied employment in a factory along with hundreds if not thousands of people. These factory workers were indeed Marx's proletarians—without social position, without political power, without economic or purchasing power.
The workers of —and even of —received no pensions, no paid vacation, no overtime pay, no extra pay for Sunday or night work, no health or old-age insurance except in Germanyno unemployment compensation except, afterin Britain ; they had no job security whatever.
Fifty years later, in the s, industrial workers had become the largest single group in every developed country, and unionized industrial workers in mass-production industry which was then dominant everywhere had attained upper-middle-class income levels.
They had extensive job security, pensions, long paid vacations, and comprehensive unemployment insurance or "lifetime employment. In Britain the labor unions were considered to be the "real government," with greater power than the Prime Minister and Parliament, and much the same was true elsewhere.
In the United States, too—as in Germany, France, and Italy—the labor unions had emerged as the country's most powerful and best organized political force. And in Japan they had come close, in the Toyota and Nissan strikes of the late forties and early fifties, to overturning the system and taking power themselves.
Thirty-five years later, inindustrial workers and their unions were in retreat. They had become marginal in numbers. Whereas industrial workers who make or move things had accounted for two fifths of the American work force in the s, they accounted for less than one fifth in the early s—that is, for no more than they had accounted for inwhen their meteoric rise began. In the other developed free-market countries the decline was slower at first, but after it began to accelerate everywhere. By the year orin every developed free market country, industrial workers will account for no more than an eighth of the work force.
Union power has been declining just as fast. Unlike domestic servants, industrial workers will not disappear—any more than agricultural producers have disappeared or will disappear. But just as the traditional small farmer has become a recipient of subsidies rather than a producer, so will the traditional industrial worker become an auxiliary employee.
His place is already being taken by the "technologist"—someone who works both with hands and with theoretical knowledge. Examples are computer technicians, x-ray technicians, physical therapists, medical-lab technicians, pulmonary technicians, and so on, who together have made up the fastest-growing group in the U.
And instead of a class—a coherent, recognizable, defined, and self-conscious group—industrial workers may soon be just another "pressure group. The reason is probably that the theoreticians and propagandists of socialism, anarchism, and communism—beginning with Marx and continuing to Herbert Marcuse in the s—incessantly wrote and talked of "revolution" and "violence. The enormous violence of this century—the world wars, ethnic cleansings, and so on—was all violence from above rather than violence from below; and it was unconnected with the transformations of society, whether the dwindling of farmers, the disappearance of domestic servants, or the rise of the industrial worker.
In fact, no one even tries anymore to explain these great convulsions as part of "the crisis of capitalism," as was standard Marxist rhetoric only thirty years ago.
Contrary to Marxist and syndicalist predictions, the rise of the industrial worker did not destabilize society. Instead it has emerged as the century's most stabilizing social development. It explains why the disappearance of the farmer and the domestic servant produced no social crises. Both the flight from the land and the flight from domestic service were voluntary.
Farmers and maids were not "pushed off" or "displaced. Industrial jobs required no skills they did not already possess, and no additional knowledge. In fact, farmers on the whole had a good deal more skill than was required to be a machine operator in a mass-production plant—and so did many domestic servants.
To be sure, industrial work paid poorly until the First World War. But it paid better than farming or household work. Industrial workers in the United States until —and in some countries, including Japan, until the Second World War—worked long hours. But they worked shorter hours than farmers and domestic servants.
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What's more, they worked specified hours: The history books record the squalor of early industry, the poverty of the industrial workers, and their exploitation. Workers did indeed live in squalor and poverty, and they were exploited. But they lived better than those on a farm or in a household, and were generally treated better. Proof of this is that infant mortality dropped immediately when farmers and domestic servants moved into industrial work.
Historically, cities had never reproduced themselves. They had depended for their perpetuation on constant new recruits from the countryside. This was still true in the mid-nineteenth century. But with the spread of factory employment the city became the center of population growth. In part this was a result of new public-health measures: These measures—and they were effective mostly in the city—counteracted, or at least contained, the hazards of crowding that had made the traditional city a breeding ground for pestilence.
But the largest single factor in the exponential drop in infant mortality as industrialization spread was surely the improvement in living conditions brought about by the factory. Housing and nutrition became better, and hard work and accidents came to take less of a toll.
The drop in infant mortality—and with it the explosive growth in population—correlates with only one development: The early factory was indeed the "Satanic Mill" of William Blake's great poem.
But the countryside was not "England's green and pleasant Land" of which Blake sang; it was a picturesque but even more satanic slum. For farmers and domestic servants, industrial work was an opportunity.