Online gaming has grown a lot in popularity over the last decade, and is one of the main ways that people choose to spend their time.
The younger generation prefers computer and/or video games, and most of these contain some kind of online play. Most adults prefer the virtual casinos part of online gaming, and spend time gambling in online casinos, the virtual “replica” of traditional casinos.
More than just a pastime, games have also become a form of culture and how people interact, thus expanding from just an area of entertainment. As online gaming has become more mainstream, universities and other tertiary institutions have begun to offer degrees in this field.
Some degree programs at universities are aimed at analysis, the design and application of digital games from two perspectives: the user and a cultural standpoint. Meanwhile, other programs are targeted at teaching graduates how to design and develop games. Degrees are also available at under-graduate and post-graduate levels. In this article, we will mainly focus on post-graduate education options in online gaming.
Post-graduate degrees at a masters level
At a master’s-level of instruction, some universities offer a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Game Design, but a Master of Arts (MA) in Interactive Design and Game Development is also possible. Sometimes these programs are offered as distance learning or online learning, while some institutions offer them as on-campus programs. Career options for these degrees are game designers, multi-media artists and even computer programmers, with a focus on gaming.
The main difference between the MFA and MA degrees is that the Master of Fine Arts is much more career oriented and prepares students to become a part of the workforce, while the MA degree is more academic in nature. Additionally, and MFA is terminal, but an MA can lead to a PhD. However, on the similarity note, both programs have artistic ability, theory knowledge and technical skills that are necessary to develop digital games and simulations.
Two other options are an MSc, which is course based, or an MPhil degree, which is research based. At the University of London, you can do an MPhil in Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence or an MSc in Computer Games and Entertainment, while the University of Portsmouth offers an MPhil in Creative Technologies or MSc in Computer Games Technology. Abertay University has an MPhil in Arts, Media and Computer Games and Heriot-Watt University offer this degree in Computer Games and Interactive Narrative. You can also do an MSc in Game Development (Programming) at Kingston University or Computer Game Engineering at Newcastle University.
Since digital games have become such a big hype, tertiary bodies have done well in offering degrees in which students can learn more about this field. However, one component of online gaming that is not really focused on is that of online casinos. Real casinos are becoming less mainstream, while their digital version continues to grow and grow, offering super casino promotional offers to play online. Therefore, it is imperative that universities offer education degrees that focus on the online casino component.