A Serious game to Teach About Career Pathways in the Games Industry
Keywords:serious games, games industry, graduate skill sets, employability, career pathways
The games industry is one that continues to evolve and grow at an accelerated rate. Advances in technology in terms of how games are developed, the sophistication of gameplay, mechanics and their graphical representation span a multitude of game franchises. Furthermore, job roles within the games industry are as diverse as the game genres within it. One dilemma that sometimes confronts undergraduate game development students when entering university is what career path to undertake in the industry. Students in this discipline area are sometimes uncertain whether they want to pursue the aesthetical side of games development or implementational. When learning about the industry for the first time, it is important not only for students to be aware of the distinctive job roles within the industry but also how they interrelate with one another. From a higher educational standpoint, the concept of career pathways is associated with graduate employability. It is important to inform game development undergraduates from an early stage about the various routes into the games industry from a job role perspective. This paper provides a scoping overview of some of the salient job roles in the games industry and their associated hard and soft skill sets. Engagement with the literature associated with soft skills required for working in the games industry is presented. Focus is also provided on how to embed the concept of career pathways into games development higher educational curriculum. One proposed solution is the use of a serious game to teach students in this discipline about this topic. This paper also presents the development of a serious game designed to inform undergraduate game development students about different job roles within the games industry and what skill sets the industry requires. The paper advocates that a serious game can be one of many blended approaches to inform game development students about career pathways within the games industry. Acknowledgement is made that further empirical work is required to substantiate this pedagogical approach.