A Student Game Dev Life - Experience Points
We wake up, go to class, work, homework, consider the imaginary time for personal projects, go home, maybe eat breakfast, and if we’re lucky- sit down with some Netflix to finally relax. Lather, rinse, and repeat. College can get taxing towards the end of the semester, and if you’re not careful you’ll end up in the vicious cycle that I mentioned above. There is a huge benefit to putting aside time for you; to try new things and to explore life to its limits.
If you’re working on your DSA II (that’s IGME 309: Data Structures and Algorithms II) project for hours, staring at the same screen- Stand up and say “No more!” and realize when your body needs a break or a much needed mental health day.
Getting involved on campus can be a great way to unwind and spark creativity back into your brain. When everything you do involves games and media, pushing yourself to try new things can be a fun and interesting experience.
With game design and development, and even with new media interactive development, we pull from our real life experiences to help make the products we produce flourish to the best of our ability. The more diverse and interesting things you can bring to the table, the better off your product will be.
Just imagine trying to network with someone in the industry. If you’re only ever able to talk about video games or your new media work, the conversation might get stale and boring – unless your experiences can bring a new spark.
You might be wondering, “Okay cool, I get it. Doing more activities will make me a better rounded individual – but how? Where? And what if I don’t know anyone else that wants to go with me?”
Don’t worry friends; I’ve got your back.
#1 IGM / Game Dev Involvement
Not quite ready to get out of your comfort zone? Never fear, here are somethings within the Interactive Games & Media community that can help you be active and involved.
- IGM Insights – Every week you’ll see an awesome newsletter that finds its way into your inbox put together by Beth Livecchi, the IGM Operations Manager. IGM Insights is PACKED with new information, new classes you can take (*high alert, high alert – Magic the Gathering History and Design class is being offered by Chris Cascioli next semester!*), and information about upcoming events. Did you know that Crossfire, a grand-strategy RPG is going on Saturday, April 30th? Don’t just toss this baby into your junk mail folks; there are great things to do right under your noses!
- IGM Ambassador – I love being an IGM Ambassador, I ADORE it, and I’ve had so many opportunities to take advantage of from through the IGM department. We get to host so many cool events that you see going on through the semester. Applications to be an IGM Ambassador unfortunately just closed on April 22nd, but keep an eye out for it next year! It’s definitely an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
(NOTE: These are not hosted or affiliated with IGM at all, but I thought it would be useful to post in this section.)
- RIT Game Design & Development Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/471912382965282/ - Informational Facebook page involving current students, faculty, staff, and alumni within the IGM community. You’ll see a lot of current happenings, job/project opportunities, and even mentions of game dev meetups/game jams!
- Rochester Game Dev Meetup: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rocgamedevmeetup/ - Again, not affiliated with IGM, but the Rochester Game Dev Meetup is a group of local developers in the area that like to have two meetings every month. One meeting to work together on kickin’ rad projects, and another to socialize and have some fun! They sometimes even meet around the RIT campus and at Lovin’ Cup, so check to see if they’re meeting up in the area if you’re without transportation!
#2 RIT Clubs
Let’s break the barrier a little bit, since I talked forever earlier about not wanting one’s whole life to be dedicated to just around games and media. Joining a club is a great way to mix and mingle and make new friends outside of the IGM major. There are hundreds of clubs (not a hyperbole, there are over 300) that you can pick and choose from. An opportunity for everyone from Humans vs. Zombies to Underwater Basket Weaving. (Note: There is no actual Underwater Basket Weaving Club… yet.)
- Club Fair – Be on the lookout for it during New Student Orientation
- Collective Club Websites “The Link @ RIT”: https://thelink.rit.edu/organizations
- Look for Posters! – You know those things haphazardly placed on the walls all over campus?
#3 Leadership Positions
Oh you, still determined to be work-centric while you have fun? I see how it is, I’m the same way. Here is a list of ways to be involved on campus and get some good resume fluff along the way.
- Resident Advisor: http://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/reslife/ - Remember those awesome people on your floor that helped you out when/while you lived/live in student housing? Yeah, that’s them.
- CAB: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/cab/ - The College Activities Board are the crazy busy & crazy rad people who plan out all the wicked sweet events that happen all year long! While you’re on their website, check out the SpringFest activities coming up like the Walk The Moon concert and the SpringFest Dance in the Dark!
- Orientation Leaders: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/orientation/content/freshman-orientation-assistant - Wobble baby, wobble baby, wobble baby, wobble. Think you’re destined to wear an orange polo and dance to your heart’s content as you introduce new and perspective students to the campus? Then this opportunity is perfect for you. Orientation Leaders are the first smiling faces you see when you get to your first day on campus. Why do they always look so happy? I’ll tell you a secret… being an OL is really, really, fun.
#4 Bulletin Board Bingo
This is something my Discovery teacher taught me. Er… which would be your Freshman Seminar class? I think I’m dating myself here. I digress, Bulletin Board Bingo is when you go to a random bulletin board on campus once a week and pick a random event off the board. By dedicating yourself to one event a week, it leaves you with something new and exciting without the feeling that you need to dedicate yourself to something as big as a club or a year-long activity.
#5 Wellness Activities
Did you know that there are so many mental advantages to keeping your physical-self happy and healthy? While we have a lot of sports to pursue on campus, there is a huge variety of other wellness activities for students to get involved in.
- Wellness Wednesday: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/wellness/events
- Mindfulness Stress Management: https://www.rit.edu/fa/cpd/mindfulness-stress-management
Whatever you decide to pursue, quit thinking about doing it and…
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney