Fond Remembrances And Fresh Starts
People throughout much of the world are celebrating the new year, a practice dating back to four thousand years ago in Iraq (then called Mesopotamia). However, back then, the new year was celebrated in what we would now call mid-March, around the time of the vernal equinox. The early Roman calendar, which was composed of ten months, designated March 1 as the beginning of the new year, but later changed the start of the year to January 1 at some point after that became the day for the inaugurating new consuls cin 153 BC. Most nations of Western Europe officially adopted 1 January as New Year’s Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian Calendar that we use today.
While the starting point of the new year has always been, to some degree, an arbitrary thing, we still celebrate it as a period of remembrance of the passing year and a fresh start to the new year. However, this year is not an arbitrary celebration for me, because two months ago I taught my final class at The Los Angeles Film School due to the closure of its Game Production and Design degree program, and in two weeks I will start teaching at the ArtCenter College of Design, which has launched a new Game Design track in its Entertainment Design department.
There is much for me to fondly remember about my five years at The Los Angeles Film School, including:
- Brilliant speakers like Google Chief Game Designer Noah Falstein, “Game Thinking” author Amy Jo Kim, and The History Channel’s “Inventions USA” host Reichart Von Wolfsheild visit my classroom, either in person or virtually.
- Taking students on field trips to Activision-Blizzard, E3, and Indiecade.
- Joining in Pokemon Go Level Design Hike to the Wisdom Tree near Los Angeles’ Hollywood Sign.
- Hosting Rally Point Radio Podcast episodes and interviewing game studio managers and executive recruiters.
- Co-hosting an Analog Game Prototyping Event at the John Anson Ford Theater with the International Game Developers Association.
- Having “Unlocked: The World Of Games” and host Sean Astin visit LAFS to tape an episode about our Game Production and Design program.
- Putting on our monthly Game Fair, where our students showcased the awesome analog, video, and virtual reality games they created in class.
I am even more excited about my future at ArtCenter College of Design, one of the country’s leading art and design private colleges. I look forward to revising my approach to teaching game design for a very different student population, and I’ll be sharing my teaching methods and assignments with my readers here as I develop them.
In the meantime, while the start of the new year may still be an arbitrary thing, I still wish all of you the very best for 2019.