Women getting into the game of video animation in new Moore College program

 A still image from an animation by former Moore College student Gabriella Farfan. (Illustration courtesy of Moore College.)

A still image from an animation by former Moore College student Gabriella Farfan. (Illustration courtesy of Moore College.)

This fall, Moore College of Art in Philadelphia will allow students to focus on video game animation.

The nation’s only all-women visual arts college has launched a new major called Interactive and Motion Art to prepare women to enter the male-dominated industry.

There are already strong video game programs in Philadelphia at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania.

To make itself stand out, Moore College intends to play to its strengths.

First, it will focus on illustration and interactive animation, less so on programming and design.

Second, Moore College is filled with women.

“Everyone seems to agree that the industry desperately wants more women working in the industry,” said Dona Lantz, the academic dean of students at Moore. “They see women users as a potential market.”

In fact, women are no longer a potential market—they are the market. Nearly half of all gamers are women, and there are more adult women playing video games than teenage boys, according to a recent study by the Entertainment Software Association.

That statistic may seem counterintuitive until you realize that video games are no longer the sole domain of  Xbox or PlayStation. Like everything in life, they are expected to appear on your cell phone or tablet.

Geoff Beatty, the first faculty member at Moore College hired to teach gaming, said the new major will teach students to animate for mobile phones and tablets.

“You know, gaming isn’t just on consoles anymore,” Beatty said. “I grew up with the old Nintendo system. Now it’s not only on consoles, it’s on PCs and mobile devices. A program that’s fairly new and doesn’t have old baggage is able to respond to some of the newer forms of gaming.”

Also this fall, a new center for small video game designers is expected to open on Walnut Street, just a few blocks from Moore College of Art. Called the Philadelphia Game Lab, it is partnering with Moore College on a seminar in October called “Game Changers: Women Game Artists Discuss Life in the Industry.”

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