The UCLA Game Lab Summer Institute introduces high school students to game-making as a form of artistic practice, teaching them the techniques and tools that will help them develop analog and digital games that reflect their own creative voice and vision. No previous game-making skills are required, but students with an interest in games and in the visual arts in particular will find the curriculum especially stimulating and rewarding.
The UCLA Game Lab Summer Institute is committed to diversity, and the program welcomes students of all cultural, racial, gender, linguistic, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds and physical abilities. Women in particular are encouraged to participate in the program (see Financial Aid, under Fees and Payment, for more information).
Students in the program develop a solid aesthetic and technical foundation in various aspects of game design–but just as importantly, they begin learning how to express their own, personal ideas through game-making and game art.
Taught by alumni of the internationally renowned UCLA Game Lab, the two-week program leads students through four, hands-on courses in game development. These workflow-oriented classes focus on:
-Learning the fundamentals of game design
-Creating compelling game characters
-Building game worlds
By the end of the two weeks, students will have created complete games or game assets in each of the four classes. This work is exhibited on the last day of the program in a gallery-like installation at UCLA, and students leave the program with game art they can include in their college-application portfolios.
The institute also provides students with a rare opportunity to glimpse college life in a cutting-edge design department, receive invaluable feedback that will prove useful to academic and career considerations in the gaming field, and earn four units of pass/no pass UC credit.