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EA Makes Gaming A University Subject
I hope other big playas catch the ride.Video Gaming is now officially a University subject as EA is now funding a chair at the University of Southern California for the study of interactive entertainment.
Bing Gordon, Chief Creative Officer, Executive Vice President and a founder of Electronic Arts was named the first holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Faculty Chair at the USC School of Cinema-Television, it was announced by Dean Elizabeth Daley. Resident in the School’s Division of Interactive Media, the Electronic Arts Endowed Faculty Chair is a rotating position that will be held for one to two years by leading figures in interactive entertainment that will join the School’s faculty as visiting professors.
In the next decade, digital technologies will bring almost unimaginable changes to the entertainment industry, said Gordon. Videogame quality will improve 150 times, cell phones will become pocket high-definition TVs, all media will be re-mixable and instant messageable, and game techniques will be used to provide human-centered education. Today’s students, who are already the world’s leading experts in new technology, are the best bet to have the vision and energy to invent such sweeping change. And USC, with its project-based film-making, computer science and communications schools, its location in the entertainment capital of the world, and its organizational commitment to excellence, can be ‘ground zero’ in this revolution in entertainment.
The USC School of Cinema-Television is well known for its courses in directing, producing, writing, animation and digital arts, interactive media and other areas but this will be the first-ever endowed chair at a university for the study of electronic gaming and interactive entertainment.
Since co-founding the company in 1981, Gordon has played a role in the development of nearly every EA game. He was vital to the launch of Pinball Construction Set, EA’s first game in 1983, and in developing the company’s three brands, EA SPORTS, EA GAMES and EA SPORTS BIG. Gordon earned his stripes as Executive Vice President of EA Studios and Senior Vice President of Entertainment Production, responsible for the design, development and production of entertainment titles and creative properties. He has been integral to the creation of more than 20 different award-winning game franchises including Madden NFL, The Sims and Need for Speed. Over the years, he has overseen development teams in California, Texas, Florida, Vancouver and London. Now an icon in the videogame industry, he is widely respected for his passion, conviction and know-how.
Bing is the perfect choice to help guide a program like ours that is focused on the storytelling and experience-design aspects of interactive entertainment, said Scott Fisher, Chair, Interactive Media Division.
Extending beyond his focus on game development, Gordon always has prioritized entertainment education and personal enrichment. He has pioneered several educational initiatives at EA, including the Emerging Leaders, Creative Leaders and the EA Executive Development programs. He is a leader in EA’s college outreach program which brings summer interns to the company from top colleges and universities around the world.
A graduate of Yale, Gordon also holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University. Gordon launched and co-taught Videogame Prototype Design class at Stanford University. He is a trustee at the Urban School of San Francisco and is a board member for the US Ski and Snowboard Team.