Łukasz Kliś, PhD – study visit at Uppsala University

Name of the project under which the study visit was made:

Increasing adult participation in IT tools and technologies education – “NITKA”.

Financed by/EU funds – Project co-financed by the European Union from the European Social Fund
Łukasz Kliś, PhD

Date of the study visit:
1-30 March 2015

Destination of the study visit:
The Department of Game Design at Uppsala University, Campus Gotland

Supervisor/supervisors or other important persons co-operating with us during the visit:
Prefect – Hans Svensson (head of the Department), head of administration – Madeleine Andrée Särland, assistant professor Iwona Hrynczenko (Flash animation and e-learning specialist), Masaki Hayashi – new technologies and programming specialist and researcher, assistant professor Adam Mayes – serious game design specialist, Leo Sandberg – storyboard specialist, illustrator;

The Gotland Museum in Visby can serve as a model of a regional museum that combines classic exhibitions with multimedia, projections of 3D graphics on objects etc.. I visited Stockholm – the whole city (especially Gamla Stan – the old town, the Museum of Modern Art, the Stockholm underground as an art gallery and the Nobel Museum with multimedia moving under the ceiling on a suspended track, posters with information and a section for children – this museum should get a Nobel Prize!)

Didactic conclusions/observations/suggestions:
During the internship I acquainted myself with the curriculum of video game design. After consulting my colleagues from Cieszyn, we found the software and technologies used at the Uppsala University (game engines, 3D animation programs and programs for creating textures and graphic elements in games) to be similar to those used by us.

What seemed important to me (although Cieszyn’s “Game and Virtual Space Design” uses similar principles) is the fact that the emphasis is put on teamwork and that there are regular assessments in the form of presentations. Students learn how to design and present their projects.

There is also a focus on the game concept. Some projects involved only brainstorming an idea without an attmempt at coding it.

”Serious game design” is an important subject which deals with using the potential of video games for solving different kinds of problems, e.g. social ones.(One of the presentations by its lecturer, Adam Mayes, can be found in the attachment).

Another important element supporting and enriching the education plan are the conferences dedicated to games which also address issues of more general importance, e.g. sociological ones. Invited guests, usually from abroad, present a series of lectures and participate in selected classes.

There are courses taught following the lecturers’ own programs, e.g. storyboard design (given by one of the creators of Need for Speed).

In addition, there are exceptionally well-equipped Social rooms (fridges with water, milk and fruit, free coffee and tea machines, microwaves, dishwashers. A Social room is a lounge – a place for meetings, discussions and gatherings).

Signed/proposed forms of co-operation:
Speldesign (game design) in Visby is, in my opinion, our natural and strategic partner. Prefect Svensson was interested in co-operation, especially in the exchange of academics (guest professors).