March 7, 2013

Putting Games in the Name

IMD Gets a New Name

By Valerie Turpin

The School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division has long been at the forefront of innovative gameplay. To emphasize its commitment to studying games and playable media in all forms, IMD will be renamed the Interactive Media and Games Division.

Key art from student-created thesis project "Songlines"

“Given the groundbreaking work in games that our faculty and students have produced in the decade since our division was formed, this is a natural step.” said Tracy Fullerton, the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair of Interactive Media and Games. “We’ve been passionate about the advancement of the form and the design of meaningful game experiences since our beginnings, and this name change shows our commitment to furthering the study of games here at USC.”

The Interactive Media and Games Division provides leading-edge education and research and is a creative incubator for future professional interactive media creators. For over ten years, the Division has defined a standard of excellence for the academic study of game design and has produced some of the most innovative creative talent working in the industry today. The Division offers unparalleled opportunities for students to explore media development in an environment that leverages the natural advantages of its Digital Coast setting.

“One of the great things about this program is that the industry has all eyes on the games and talent

Still from Walden, a game from the Game Innovation Lab

that come out of the [Interactive Media and Games] Division,” said Interactive Media and Games student Sam Rosenthal. You can go to any school in the country and learn different skill and tools that will prepare you for decent jobs in whatever industry you’re in, but USC prepares us to be the next big thing in our industry.  That’s kind of the dream.”

USC was voted the #1 game design school in North America for its graduate and undergraduate degree programs by the Princeton Review and GamePro Media for the last three years. Some of the Division’s successes include fLow, Cloud, Flower andJourney, all created by alumni Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany; The Unfinished Swan, developed by Ian Dallas and Max Geiger, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, developed and designed by Matt Korba and Paul Bellezza; Puzzlejuice, developed by Asher Vollmer; and Darfur is Dying, developed by Susana Ruiz.