Great Dane Games

Great Dane Games

Great Dane Games - all things gamerelated

This weblog is the digital playground for Anders Højsted. I'm a philosopher, indie gamedeveloper, writer & all-round renaissance man.

The Second Passion: Games

PersonalPosted by Anders Højsted Tue, June 23, 2009 15:22
(This post is migrated from my original blog)

My philosphy-studies flundered after the first two years. I drifted from job to job, - from ambition to ambition. After half a decade of aimless & focusless wandering between jobs, I finally decided that even if I no longer wanted to be a philosopher, I still wanted an education. I didn't feel like going back to square one and start on a new bachelors degree, so I decided to finish my bachelors degree in philosophy with as little philosophy as possible.

Instead I studied innovation, business planning, theory of science (ok, - a little philosophy) and took a course in multiplayer games. I found it hard to understand that computergames - a pure entertaiment medium - actually qualified as a topic for a academic course. But it did, - and I actually came up with a very interesting topic for a paper (whiuch I never wrote smiley).

The teacher at the course, Gitte Stald, spoke high praises of the IT-University (ITU) in Copenhagen and their games research department. It took a while but finally I realized that I could take a masters in game design at the ITU. A Master! I would't have to start over. And I could do it in games :)

That's when I realized that the other passion is games. Roleplaying games, tabletop games and digital games.

I've played digital games all the way back from PONG. I've played pen & paper rpg's from the first time I had the chance (age 16). I've owned a Commodore 64, an Amiga 500 and various PCs from back when they were 66mhz. And I've played games on them all. Every single one of them.

The ITU would give me a chance to live out my passion and get a degree in IT that probably would get me a job afterwards (as opposed to philosophy). I got accepted at the ITU (probably at the lowest gradepoint ever - between C & D) and followed course with Jesper Juul, Gonzalo Frasca, Espen Aarseth, Michael Valeur - all great teachers and scholars (and I realized that games can be used for many other purposes then "just" entertainment).

Our master thesis - which I wrote with Stein Llanos, now gamedesigner at Zeitguyz - was about analog methods to test computergameconcepts (not the games, but the concepts, - yes, it works smiley). It was quite good and landed us a A. All together my grade-point-average for the masters was right between A & B. So I'd definitely found the right place to study.

I did a final project after we'd defended the thesis. Gonzalo Frasca was my supervisor and the project was a maschinima/gamie made in Valve's Halflife Source Editor (G-man's Outtakes). And this is where it came full circle; the exam was 2½ years after I started at the ITU; - and my supervisor was the same Gitte Stald who got me started at games smiley. Crazy world, ainnit? (ok, it's not "I got run over by the spaceshuttle and survived"-crazy, but it's stilll kindda fun).

So now I have a masters degree in Gamedesign and a bachelors degree in philosophy and are looking for a job. This is partly why I made this blog and partly because I like to talk about stuff that I'm passionate about.

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