The exciting program may be the first graduate video game design course at a Japanese university.

The ultimate goal for many aspiring video game designers and animation artists is to work at one of the world’s most famous video game production companies, like Square Enix, the makers of Final Fantasy. To have your name roll up on the production credits of future beloved games would be an absolute dream come true. Yet the world of game design is competitive, and applicants to those big name companies will need to have a lot of tools under their belt if they want to be chosen for the job.

But don’t worry! Tokyo University of the Arts is hoping to help you in that regard with its brand-new graduate course in video game design. The University announced it just a few days ago, and though explicit details haven’t been released, the press release promises a fantastic experience for those who hope to get into the video game design industry.

The new program, which for now is simply titled “Video Game Course”, will start with the new school year in April as part of the Graduate School of Film and New Media, and some say it will be the first of its kind among Japanese universities. It will be a two-year-long course whose aim is to explore video games as a medium of art, and to improve the potential and visual expression of video game design through research and game production.

The course sounds like an aspiring game designer’s dream come true for multiple reasons. First, students will get to study video games (presumably by playing them) and work on mastering their art for two years under the guidance of experienced professors, and what artist wouldn’t want that? Those two years also will be composed of lectures and seminars focused on video game production and art, culminating in a final project that could involve designing your own game.

Furthermore, the program will be done in collaboration with the University of Southern California’s School of Visual Arts, which means that there will be guest lecturers from the U.S., and that students can participate in USC’s classes as well. There are also plans for joint work with students at USC on various projects throughout the program, so it looks like it will be a well-rounded, and well-networked, educational experience.

But perhaps the coolest thing about the upcoming program is that it will be done with industry cooperation. The university plans to invite professionals in the field to conduct seminars for students, starting with what seems to be an already organized visit from Square Enix themselves. With the opportunity to meet, learn from, and potentially work with real-world professionals from the very companies students might be aiming for, this program certainly has a lot to offer.

If your heart is racing with excitement and you want to know how you can get in, you must apply through the Animation Department or the Media Department, and pass the entrance exams that will be held in January and February. The application process for this department will begin in December; overseas applicants should get started early, as it could be a time-consuming process. Check out the website (in English) for more information about how to apply.

Since this might be the first graduate course solely focused on the art of video games, applications might get a little competitive. Nevertheless, if you want to become a professional in the video game world, this could be an amazing opportunity to advance your abilities and career, so it’s worth applying for! Just think about how much this could boost your resume when you apply to be one of the designers of the next Legend of Zelda game.

Source: Tokyo University of the Arts via Hachima Kiko
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