New CNA program all fun and games

6/8/2009 10:56:45 AM

Students wanting to turn a past time into a profession can now sign up for College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) newly developed Video Game Design program.

The program, slated to start in September 2009 at the Bay St. George campus, will have an intake of 18 students and is the only program of its kind in the province. This two-year diploma program will present graduates with an opportunity to jump into the multi-billion dollar video game industry.

Anyone seeking an exciting, dynamic industry position with a solid earnings potential should consider the program, says Bay St. George Campus Administrator Chris Dohaney. Most individuals in this field will likely have a love of video games, but employers are also looking for people with creative writing skills, problem solving abilities, strong computer programming skills and an imaginative and innovative mind.

When the college looked at its Media Arts Centre (MAC) program package the Video Game Designer program was considered an easy fit.

“This is all part of the constant overview to complement the programs already offered in the MAC,” explained Dohaney. “It was a natural fit to the others… all those skill-sets complement each other.”

In order to ensure the program outline would meet the demands of industry, the college requested the expertise from the people that could be hiring CNA graduates in two years’ time.

“Focus group sessions were held and various industry professionals were represented, including Other Ocean Interactive, Cerebral Vortex Games, the Department of Business and the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. They all reviewed the curriculum line-by-line and weighed in on how it would be accepted by prospective students and employers,” said Dohaney.

Digital Video Design, Interactive Narrative, Storytelling and Animatic Design, and Game Design (I, II, III) are just some of the course areas students enrolled in the program can expect to learn from over four full semesters and a 16-week intersession.

With the constant expansion of technology and consumer needs, a number of new components to the gaming industry have surfaced recently. Advergaming has become widely accepted as companies and corporations produce video games in order to promote their products (i.e. Pepsi’s Pepsiman). Edutainment is a style of game that educates and amuses at the same time (i.e. Brain Training for Dummies) while Militainment games are funded directly by the military or are simulations of military operations with a high level of accuracy (i.e. SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals).

Dohaney says game styles have come to reflect the changing demographics of the country and the interests of its consumers.

“You always think of the younger generation and typically of young men, but in the last few years it’s become cross gender and has developed in a market with a broad demographic. And now there are a lot of dedicated companies… and a lot of them are looking towards known and dependable markets. Overall the market is steadily growing.”

For more information on the Video Game Design program contact CNA’s Student Services department at 1-888-982-2268 or email


For more information (media) contact:

Roger Hulan
Communications Specialist
College of the North Atlantic
(709) 643-7938