October 4, 2022

Majors in the Shawnee State University gaming programs have a unique opportunity to get to know their peers during their time at the institution, thanks to a system of “houses” for groups of students enrolled in the program.

“The game house design is based on a collection of social groups of different interests and backgrounds,” Duane Skaggs, SSU Professor of Digital Simulation & Gaming Engineering Technology, explained. “These houses come together to do all sorts of activities including game nights, lectures, and career-based mentoring.”

groups of students sitting at tables
Gaming students attended a welcome ceremony at the end of the first week of the autumn semester to be sorted into their game houses for the year.

During the first week of classes, gaming students were brought together to be sorted into a house that aligned with their interests. Each game house has its own mascot, colors, and motto. Throughout the year the houses continue to work and play together for points during scheduled activities.

In addition to Skaggs, professors Travis Lynn, Jason Witherell, and Paul Yost oversee and guide the students within their house. Department faculty and staff also provide valuable support to the professor and student leaders within the program.

“The idea with the houses is to help build connections and friendships,” Skaggs said. “These relationships can last a lifetime, and even help students find jobs once they graduate through their networking and contacts.”

Game Houses Seal
Shawnee State University student Kat Quigg designed shields for each gaming house, including a combined shield representing all the houses.

SSU’s nationally-ranked gaming program is divided into two majors – Game & Simulation Arts and Digital Simulation & Game Engineering Technology. The two separate but coordinated programs teach students how to work individually and as a team, while developing the skills they need to create the career path best suited for them.

“There is a lot of hard work that goes into this major, but there is also fun,” Skaggs said. “You can learn a lot of skills in the gaming field that not only apply to gaming but to life outside of it. The hard work you do in the major will pay off in a lot of ways.”

To learn more about the gaming programs at Shawnee State University, visit