FIGURE 6.3 Participants in the joint USC Games Program, including several USC departments, Atlantic College (Puerto Rico), and the Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) Game Art Program. The solid lines indicate strong participation; dashed lines indicate some participation. NOTE: CS = Computer Science Department; FA = Fine Arts Program; ITP = Institute of Creative Technologies; VSoE = Viterbi School of Engineering.

and the teams continue developing their games. At the end of the semester, each team demonstrates a polished product with 2–4 hours of gameplay to fellow students and industry executives.

Building the USC joint Games Program required time, effort, and courage. The question of how and when to support a new area is difficult for most universities. Moreover, the university department structure works against multi- and interdisciplinary programs, and issues about where to establish the departmental home, where to manage the budget, how to evaluate the faculty, and how to obtain enough space had to be resolved. However, once established, the program has proven a success. The joint Games Program was rated the top game design program by the Princeton Review in March 2011,9 and it is not unusual for the student teams to be recruited by the gaming industry.

Summer Programs

Advanced techniques and methods are commonly taught in university summer courses. The largest U.S. summer program in GIS and spatial analysis is offered by the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), which is based at the University


9 See <>.

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