Over the last fifteen years, the Division of Games (and its predecessor, the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program) has been remarkably successful as one of the first academic programs in games, receiving consistent rankings in the top 6 worldwide by Princeton Review since 2008, and preparing our undergraduates and graduate students for success in life beyond the U and into professional identities as game makers. Since the creation of our undergraduate degree, the BS in Games, in 2017, the program has skyrocketed in demand, is now the tenth most popular major on campus, and has landed a #1 spot among public institutions in the latest US News and World Report ranking of undergraduate games programs.
In the last two years, the Division of Games has received remarkable support for this growth from the U’s College of Engineering and the Office of the President. As a result, Utah Games hired 4 new teaching faculty in 2023. With this growth, we’re in the process of building major new program strengths in both teaching and research/creative scholarship. We’re on a mission to establish ourselves as the leading academic department of games, with transformative goals that focus on Utah Games’ mission:
to create ideas that advance our understanding of games, to share that understanding with our students, our community, and society, and with that understanding to develop skilled, principled, and innovative game makers who change the world.
Our process over the near term will be to define ourselves as a new academic department, one that is built on our existing values, sets the bar for excellent teaching, research, and creative work in games, and always advances the power of games and play to transform lives for the better. We have a bold vision statement:
Utah Games’ graduates will lead the world in advancing new forms of games and play that improve entertainment, health, justice, learning & training, collaboration, safety & security, and many other aspects of individual and societal well-being. The ideas developed at Utah Games will transform our capacity to create games that change lives. The Division’s focus on excellence in education, research, collaboration, and community will catalyze partnerships across our campus and serve as a foundational element of a thriving games ecosystem in Utah and the nation.
But a statement alone isn’t sufficient. We’re driven to push this vision forward with action, and we’re passionately seeking colleagues to join us in this work. If you are interested in creating ideas that advance our understanding of games, sharing those ideas with students, the community, and society, and applying those ideas to change society for the better, we would love to hear from you.
We’re anticipating at least two new faculty positions this coming academic search season — one for a teaching faculty member and the other for a tenure-line faculty member. Our hiring plans are moving by leaps and bounds, like the rest of our program, and we hope to have significant news about the future of our division soon.
We expect to have our positions officially open in early October, 2023. For information before then, you can reach out to Utah Games’ Chair, Michael Young, or to any of our faculty, to talk about the vision for Utah Games, where we are in our work to create a new academic department of games, and how you might play a role in building games as a discipline here at the U.