Today, September 12, is National Video Games Day, a time to appreciate how far video games have come and celebrate the immersive experiences they provide. To recognize the occasion, The Daily focuses on ARTS 286: Introduction to Video Game Design, a course at Case Western Reserve in which students bring gaming to life.
Art classes weren’t really on Jaiden-Malaika Borowski’s radar when she decided to enroll in the computer science program at Case Western Reserve University. Now one of them could shape the entire trajectory of his career.
Borowski participated in ARTS 286: Introduction to Video Game Design, a course from the Department of Art and Art History in which students explore games through the development and creation of 2D video games, while building a critical vocabulary and historical context to analyze games and game theory.
“I was wondering if I should pursue an art minor and wanted to try an art class before deciding,” the sophomore explained. “I’m really glad that a STEM school like CWRU offers art classes.”
Course instructor Kerry Richardson said the fact that it is a studio art class, as opposed to a computer class, allows students to be imaginative.
“I encourage students to develop unconventional concepts for their games,” Richardson said. “I place a lot of importance on creating original artwork and audio.”
Borowski, who took the course last spring, said she and her classmates had many informative discussions about art techniques and even learned some video games by playing them in class.
But, the most impactful part for the Seattle native was creating her own video games from scratch using Twine and Game Maker Studio, which she says made the process more professional because “real games published are created with this same program”.
Richardson challenged Borowski and his peers to make virtually any game as long as it was complex – and was made with Game Maker Studio.
“We were given complete control over the idea and scope of the game,” Borowski said. “I was so impressed with how we all improved and how individualized our games were, even though we all started with the same prompt and teachings.”
She credits the class with bolstering her desire to minor in art while tapping into her passion for computing, and feels she is now better equipped to break down complex art projects into more manageable pieces.
And it showed her just how detailed and difficult creating a video game can be, while showing her that she was capable of creating one herself.
After graduating, Borowski wants to continue combining computer science and art to some extent, eventually working in an animation studio.