The University of Malta’s Institute of Digital Games post-graduate game design programme, was recently ranked one of the best by the Princeton Review.
The Institute explores games and play, uncovering new playful and generative possibilities in game design and technology.
Variety of Subjects
It also delves into everything games can teach us about ourselves and the world around us. The multidisciplinary academic team spans across a variety of subjects. These include computer science, literature, game design, philosophy, media studies and social sciences. The MSc also covers artificial intelligence and game narrative, while ensuring game design is at the core of its curriculum. Videogames are multi-faceted which allows them to be approached from many different disciplines.
The Institute has carried out research on artificial intelligence for which it has been awarded at international conferences. Such as International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, and Applications of Evolutionary Computation.
“The Institute takes a humanities approach to teaching”
We spoke with some of the Institute’s alumni to learn more about what this post-graduate programme has to offer.
Johnathan Harrington is currently working on his PhD at the City University of Hong Kong on playing games as iterative design. This is his main area of research right now. However, he has also previously researched other topics, most prominently language and games.
“The Institute takes a humanities approach to teaching. It isn’t a ‘they taught me to how to make games, so now I am a game developer’ sort of place. We learnt about games and philosophy. Games and their societal impact. Game marketing and game research methods,” said alumni Mr Harrington.
The institute performed duties well outside of its teaching remit. They involved Mr Harrington in their own projects. Which allowed him to participate in two successful board game projects – Vengeance and Posthuman Saga. He was also involved in an independent game release which received international attention.
Harrington was involved in various international conferences. These allowed him to not only advance his research, but also to meet key people in the field of digital games. “The Institute fosters a culture where we are encouraged to apply ourselves to seek out funds, opportunities and people. A lot of fellow students went on to do cool things because of this aiming high culture,” added Mr Harrington.
Telling a story through gameplay
Alumni David Chircop has also blossomed from his experience at the Institute of Digital Games. Chircop currently works at Video Game Developer CD Projekt Red in Poland. Last year he worked on the Witcher series and now he is involved in their upcoming title, Cyberpunk 2077. His tasks are usually related to bringing together story and game mechanics to create interesting scenarios.
Aside from his work at CD Projekt Red, Chircop also makes board games and is one of the directors of Mighty Boards, a board game publishing house which makes board games for the international markets.
The Institute is at the forefront of Digital Humanities having organised the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference in 2016. As well as presenting and keynoting in conferences in Russia, Sweden, and Greece. Since the institute was founded in 2013, it has been involved in a number of funded European Horizon 2020 and Erasmus research projects.
For more information about the Institute of Video Games visit http://www.game.edu.mt/