UC Irvine to offer video game major

By IAN HAMILTON

It’s official. Students will be able to major in video games at UC Irvine.

UCI, which is already outfitted with a Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds meant to expand research into those fields, will now let undergraduate students major in Computer Game Science after final approval was granted during a divisional Senate assembly meeting.

Here’s a description of the major, courtesy of UC Irvine:

“The Computer Game Science (CGS) major combines a solid foundation in computer science with a focus on designing, building, and understanding computer games and other forms of interactive media.

“The fundamentals of information and computer science, along with coursework in mathematics, statistics, physics, and film and media studies, provide students with the concepts and tools to study a wide scope of computer game technologies. CGS emphasizes design, teamwork, and the understanding of computer games and related technologies and media in a social and cultural context.

“The study of computer games is an emerging field that is driven by advancing computer hardware and software technology, the widespread popularity of video games as an entertainment medium, and by the interest of artists, economists, educators, scientists and many others, to use game technologies for communication, visualization, computation and learning.”

This fall, freshman students who have already been accepted to UCI will be able to change their major, said Andre van der Hoek, associate dean of student affairs, in an e-mail. Transfer students will be allowed to major in the program in 2012.