Contact: Robert Bobo or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

Spring 2004

Let The Games Begin

DALLAS (SMU) -- Jay Leno used it as a joke on The Tonight Show: "At Southern Methodist University they have opened a college of video games. It's a school where the students can specialize in video games. Finally -- a degree more useless than political science."

But the SMU Guildhall school of video games is serious business and serious education. In fact, it's the only program of its kind in a 30 year-old industry.

The Guildhall at SMU is an academic program designed by academics and industry leaders in digital games. The program's core is technology, but its strength is the inclusion of disciplines such as art, literature, business, and philosophy.

Students involved in the 18-month program will learn all aspects of digital game development -- art creation, level design and software development -- and will have created a ready-to-publish game by graduation.

Guildhall's strength comes from ties with local industry leaders like idSoftware Inc., maker of "Doom" and "Quake," and Ensemble Studios, maker of "Age of Empires."

Upon graduation, students can expect starting salaries from $49,000 which might turn into $300,000 with a few years of experience.

The $10 billion a year video game industry employs about 30,000 people in the United States alone and that number is expected to grow by about 5,000 jobs a year.

For more information about The Guildhall at SMU, visit or call 214/768-9950.