North Carolina City Scores National Lead in Gaming Technology
December 14, 2010

North Carolina City Scores National Lead in Gaming Technology

Greensboro, N.C. -- Two Greensboro high school teachers have placed this Southern city on the national map with a first-of-its-kind video game curriculum available across the country this month through the Engineering by Design Consortium . The curriculum focuses on video game design, provides students an avenue for exploring one of the fastest-growing areas of technology development and strengthens Greensboro’s position as a leader in technology innovation.
“Roy Kimmins, Jr. and Phyllis Jones exemplify the kind of vision, talent and national relevance that represent the future of our community,” says Pat Danahy, CEO and president of the Greensboro Partnership. “Among America’s network of small cities, Greensboro continues to deliver innovations of local, regional and national significance. The work of these two educators has the potential to impact thousands of young Americans and keep our country in the front line of global high-tech, entertainment and gaming advances.”

The curriculum that Kimmins and Jones have developed includes four courses that teach the basics of scientific and technical visualization (Sci/Vis), and game art and design. In Sci/Vis students develop a foundation in computer graphics and discover the power of 3D modeling and animation. The game art and design courses enable students to learn the logic behind 2D and 3D programming. These courses have the potential to develop skills outside gaming. For example, in areas like health care and consumer services, many companies are developing virtual reality training scenarios for their employees.

Supported through North Carolina State University and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, the Engineering by Design Consortium provides ready-made technical education courses to registered schools nationwide. The Greensboro game design curriculum is significant news in a field that represents a vibrant and rapidly growing industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks computer science number one among the fastest growing occupations in the country, with starting salaries at $60K for game developers. North Carolina is also home to the second-highest number of game development companies in the U.S.

Through the Engineering by Design consortium, these game design courses could benefit thousands of students across the country. Students use statistics, probability and geometry to develop material for an industry that has strong job opportunities. They learn to build virtual reality programs and computer games in high school that are on a professional level, putting them a step ahead when they arrive in the college classroom.

The game design curriculum is the latest example in a series of high-tech innovations in Greensboro. Earlier this year, North Carolina A&T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro formed a partnership to create the Gateway University Research Park, which serves as the landscape for research and houses the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.