Professor Henry Jenkins is among the academics quoted in The Los Angeles Times‘ article “At Work at PlayStations, addressing the increased prevalence of academic programs training students for positions in the video game industry:
“If you look at the games sector, what you see historically is they’ve hired two groups of people: programmers and graphic artists. But games are becoming a storytelling and entertainment medium. Neither of those groups have the vocabulary to talk to each other very well because they come from much different worlds,” says Henry Jenkins, director of comparative media studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a program that doesn’t have a formal game-design component but frequently places graduates in the industry. “We’re training technologists to think like entertainers.”
Jenkins is one of many university professors who draw the comparison between today’s emerging interactive entertainment curriculum and the film schools that emerged in the ’70s.
“The Spielbergs and Lucases, what was different about them coming through film school rather than the ranks … is they understood every part of the film production process. They weren’t technical skill people but they had a conceptual framework that allowed them to bring all the pieces together.
“In the same way film schools changed Hollywood,” Jenkins adds, “game studies will change the games industry.”