Computer games, especially with the advancement of mobile platforms and web technologies in the last ten years, become widespread in our country as well as all over the world, being a popular medium widely consumed by large masses without making any gender and age discrimination. According to Newzoo statistics; %70 of computer users in Turkey which is approximately 20 million people, are playing games. Computer games, which has more than 1 billion users, is one of the main leading creative industries with its interdisciplinary structure ranging from entertainment to education. In the last ten years, Canada and South Korea have had a voice in the sector because of their big leap with investments especially made on computer games development education and government policies for the related fields.
Turkey’s Game field is taking important steps towards industrialization. To achieve expected growth and acceleration, the need for qualified manpower should be met. That can only be possible by establishing a strong infrastructure for education. Game Design Master Program will be a first in our country and specific to Istanbul, because of both being design-driven and both having an interdisciplinary structure. Also aims to raise creative, innovative educators and researchers, and to provide qualified manpower to the sector. Recommended by the Department of Communication Design, this Pioneer program, will become a first due to opening under Social Sciences and it will be a meeting point where the industry and academia will research and produce together.
The program will contribute to the field of applied communication by focusing on creating the visual and auditory structure of a game under the title of “Game Art” alongside developing concepts, writing scripts, and creating game-based interaction and experience design under the main title of “Game Design”. The program’s other field of interest is game production which includes making, marketing, and distribution of a game. In this sense, the thesis version of the program is for 'Game Research', and it will contribute to the field of communication, specifically game studies, by aiming to comprehend, question, analyze and produce data in this interdisciplinary and ever-changing medium from a social, cultural and economic perspective.
Established as a Communication Design Department initiative with the support of the Faculty of Communication, Bahçeşehir University Game Laboratuaries (BUG) is set out to provide an education and research ground for the field and to build a roof to gather under. BUG, which is the first and only example of a game laboratory in our country, has taken important steps both locally and globally by continuing its educational, cultural, and sectoral activities since its establishment in May 2012. In this regard, the universities involved are as follows:
Various accumulations and experiences have been gained and the need for a master's program in the field has become much more evident by the help of activities and documentation, projects, and sectoral networks done in the meantime.
The activities listed below, which have a great role in the formation of the relevant academic and sectoral community, have been carried out in the last two years.
There is no master's program in Turkey or in Istanbul that directly focuses on “game design” and game researches in the field of Social Sciences. It can be seen that Istanbul, the city where the sector was founded and gained momentum, needs a program like this. This program, working integrated with BUG Game Lab and creating an effective difference, will be a pioneer for our country.
There are three masters program existing in our country in the game field for “Game Technologies and Programming” (İzmir Ekonomi Üniversitesi Bilgisayar Oyunları ve Teknolojisi; Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi Oyun Teknolojileri; ve Hacettepe Üniversitesi Bilgisayar Oyunu ve Animasyon Teknolojileri). These programs are more like important startups that focus on the 'technology' part of the gaming medium rather than the design-oriented needs mentioned above. Recommended by the Department of Communication Design Game Design Masters Program, as stated, focuses on design, and with its interdisciplinary structure, it will be the first graduate program for the game field to be opened under a Social Sciences Institute.
The qualified manpower needed by this field which has high added value but limited educational opportunities will be met by this program with,
a) Game and Game Content Experience Designer
b) Game Artist, Grapher, and Animator
c) Game Sound Designer, Producer
d) Game Producer, Game Project Manager
e) Game Script Writer, Game Critic
f) Game Researcher
g) Game Design Educator
Game Design Masters Program alongside the need for qualified manpower in the sector, will also support the establishment of graduate schools for this field. Undergraduate and doctorates are not available for this field yet, educators and academicians need to be raised to open these programs.