New gaming program allows MCC students to work and play

Heather Valmy

With all the majors students have available to them these days, it was only a matter of time before MCC offered a program dedicated to video game technology.The ever-growing $10 billion industry, open to new talent, offers opportunities to potential programmers, designers, graphic artists and producers.

“Video games are becoming so popular with people of all ages,” Nicki Maines said, an MCC business professor who helped develop MCC’s new Game Technology Certificate of Completion.

Music instructor Bob Lashier and self proclaimed lifelong geek said of his appeal to the new program:

“Technology changes so fast, everything we do is surrounded by technology and we will need it to stay functional.”

Burton Borlongan, who teaches CIS 107, the Electronic Game Industry class, said his course helps students become familiar with gaming.

“It’s an introduction to gaming. Everyone plays the video games, it’s about getting them to externalize their knowledge.”

One of Borlongan’s students, Austin Johns, said, “This is my first semester in the program. It uses a lot of modern development tools.”

Borlongan said although roughly half of his students took his class to pursue the gaming certificate, others were just curious.
Johns said he took the class because he always dreamt of being in the game industry and the opportunity presented itself at MCC.

“I feel I can bring my imagination and work ethic to the industry.” he said.

Nick Wlodyka, an executive producer from game developer Rainbow Studios, has worked on the FIFA soccer series, WWE video games and is currently working on a new game for the Nintendo Wii.

He said the gaming industry is growing and is always looking for new talent.

“The industry needs artists, programmer and producers,” Wlodyka said.

“To get noticed, unique ideas for games is something the business looks for.”

According to Professor Maines, students taking game industry classes have the chance at a few coveted internship positions with Rainbow Studios.

“We often work on team,” Wlodyka said. Borlongan believes the classroom makes an ideal environment for teamwork experience.
“There are no lone eagles out there.”

MCC’s gaming and multimedia program opened a new lab, Studio 180??, featuring state-of-the-art equipment used for game production and design.

The new studio is equipped with a plasma screen television, two video cameras, a green screen, and eight high end computer graphic work stations.

Although Studio 180?? welcomes anyone who is interested, it will be used primarily as a lab for MCC’s game technology and multimedia students to work on game design and development.

With the growing popularity of the gaming program, Maines said more sections will be offered.

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