April 28, 2023
A junior at Shawnee State University, Adam Fahrer (Hometown: Jackson, Ohio) has always had an interest in computers and programming. Finding out SSU was ranked among the best programs in the nation for game design, he quickly knew it was a program he needed to explore.
“I’ve always loved computers and wanted to go into a computer science path,” he said. “I found Shawnee and saw its gaming program was ranked ninth in the nation at the time and went to one of the program’s meetings.”
Majoring in Digital Simulation & Game Engineering, Fahrer discovered his classes gave him an in-depth look into the current gaming industry and how programming is a skill that can transfer across several industries.
“It was almost pitched as a computer engineering degree on steroids, in a way, so it would give me more information and coding than I might get from a regular program,” he said.
As he’s moved through the program, Fahrer has found himself able to build connections with faculty members that have aided his development of networking and professional skills he will continue to use after graduation.
“One of my teachers had a contact to one of the hirers in a department at Epic Studios and I’ve been chatting with him,” he said. “He’s given me advice on how the hiring process goes and how to improve my portfolio and resume and it’s been a whole lot of help.”
Outside of his classes, Fahrer has connected with fellow gaming enthusiasts to build his skills. He recently helped host a “Game Jam” session on campus, where gaming students come together to compete to build a game in a short time frame. The process allows students to rely on teamwork, while also practicing the techniques that have been learning in the classroom. To other students, Fahrer wants them to know the hard work is worth it.
“The program is difficult, and it’s a lot of rigorous classes,” he said, “but if you are prepared for that and have the drive to do it, it’s a very rewarding program.”
In 2023, SSU’s gaming design programs were ranked for the thirteenth consecutive year among the top game design programs in the U.S. and Canada by The Princeton Review. The program offers two areas of study – one in game programming and the other in game arts. Students in both tracks have the opportunity to develop their skills through hands-on courses leading up to their Senior Studio, where the two tracks come together to allow students to simulate the experience of working in a game studio.
To learn more about gaming at Shawnee State University, visit shawnee.edu/gaming.