Summer Plans

cropped-cropped-Untitled1Knowing that the fewer practical things I have to do, the more bored and disgruntled I get (I was extremely distressed just over spring break), I was worried about not having anything to do over the summer. Since I didn’t apply to any Dialogues, I had resigned myself to earning back some of the money I had gratuitously spent on food by taking a job at home.

Fortunately, Dr. Iacono saved me from having such a mundane summer, by emailing me with an amazing internship opportunity. The application process was simple, involving submitting a resume, supplying three references, and answering the following question: “If you were a genre of video game, which one would you be, and why?” I applied immediately and, after a few weeks of restless anticipation, received my acceptance email a few days ago!

Offered by the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), based at Becker College in Worcester, MA, the program is entitled the “Summer Innovation Program” or SIP. The internship involves building a video game in a team of other college students. It is 11 weeks long and offers paid housing and a bi-weekly stipend, plus opportunities to interact with industry “mentors” from companies like Turbine (Lord of the Rings Online), which is based in Massachusetts.

I’m currently awaiting an email detailing more about the program, transportation, etc. After three weeks of relaxation at home and hanging out with my friends, I’ll be flying back up to Boston and then taking the commuter rail to Worcester.

Suffice to say I cannot imagine a more productive way to spend my summer, and I couldn’t be more excited that I am already getting a chance to work on a real project and get practical experience. Friends of mine that are already in the industry have advised me that majoring in game design is notoriously poor at actually preparing a person for the job, and that you simply need to make games, and make lots of them, in order to be an appealing hire for a game dev company. While this news was intimidating at first, I’m confident that SIP is my big first step towards being able to move out of the classroom and in to the world, producing real games that real people will play, as early as my sophomore year!

By Rachel Roberie, Digital Arts/Game Design, University Scholar from New Orleans, Louisiana