Jason Leigh’s Gaming Class in the News
Participants: Jason Leigh
More information about the class and a Course Description can be found on Jason Leigh’s webpage.
Jason Leigh took his love for computer games and created a hands-on laboratory that teaches aspiring gamers how to create their own electronic playgrounds.
Since he was a teenager in the early 1980’s, Jason Leigh has been playing - and creating - computer games.
Now an associate professor of computer science and a researcher in the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, Leigh took his love for gaming and created a hands-on laboratory that teaches aspiring gamers how to create their own electronic playgrounds.
Leigh named the course “renaissance computing,” but after word got out students started calling it “video game programming.” It filled up almost instantly, says Leigh. There was a waiting list, but there were no dropouts so none on the list got in.
Thirty students enrolled: 27 computer science majors and three art students. Computer donations from Microsoft Corp. helped equip the class.
Leigh started the course by asking each student to fill out a questionnaire about their computer science skills and experience with computer games. He picked 10 student team leaders who, in turn, were given “resumes” from which each recruited two more students to form teams simulating mock computer game companies. Jobs ranged from programmer to graphic arts designer to technical director. Each team made class presentations on their game concept, in part to refine their presentation skills but also to allow Leigh to advise the students on whether their projects were becoming too ambitious to handle in a semester. Leigh was pleasantly surprised by the results.
It went extraordinarily well. Of all the computer graphics to come out of UIC as complete products of one semester, this is the highest quality I’e ever seen. These were kids who had never done this before, but they had the raw energy to work at it until it came out right. And they had to spend a lot of time at it.
Date: February 4, 2004 - March 4, 2004