Human-Oriented Media: Electronic Game

31 May 2024

“Students who majored in Humanity and Society have their special strength in Indie Game designing, “Xiong Panfeng encouraged the students, “as you understand human beings.”

Recently, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at XJTLU (HSS) held a career talk and a game design workshop, named How Can Humanities and Social Science Students Enter the Digital Game Industry, with an aim to pave new paths for students' future career pursuits. During the talk on May 10, 2024. Xiong Panfeng, the vice president of IndieLight, provided the students with job-selecting information and interesting indie game playing experience. On May 11, the registered students joined the paper prototype design workshop, creatively designing their own games using coloured paper, chips, dice, and pens under the guidance of Xiong.

“This initiative is part of the School’s proactive approach to boost the job prospects of our students, in particular our PG students. The engaging talk and the follow-up workshop have clearly sparked a keen interest among students in the game industry.” Said the main coordinator of the event Wanda, the School student development officer and the postgraduate director of studies.

A good game needs to understand human

“The essence of a high-quality game hinges on its understanding of human emotions,” Xiong said. He handed a gamepad to Shuxian Zhu, a student volunteer, and let him try Limbo which is a puzzle-platform video game with horror elements.

In this level, Zhu needed to use the gamepad to control the protagonist to get the clamp, and successfully clip the monster's three legs. At the same time, he needs to be flexible to prevent the protagonist from stepping on the clamp or being attacked by monsters. Zhu said: “It was thrilling, especially when you get closer to the monster. ”Though the painting style was only black and white, the sound of sharp clamps and the movement of the monster made everyone present gasp. Zhu said: “Since everyone present was watching my operation, and I had just failed several times, and the lovely little boy had been torn to pieces again and again by sharp clamps in front of everyone, I was more frightened than anyone present.”

“Actually, it is all your daily feeling that causes your sense of thrill,” Xiong explained. In . The jagged shape of the clip inside the picture, coupled with the sound of sharp objects, creates a terrifying effect, and this immersive feeling actually comes from our daily experience of life, students in the humanities school are particularly aware of people's daily feelings.

Career prospects for humanities students in the games industry— Great potential

Xiong believed that the game industry does need students majoring in humanities and social sciences. “A good game needs to deliver a universal value, where its narrative and core need to achieve self-consistency” Xiong shared. Additionally, The selection of media, how to show the world view, and the characteristics of the game are also the elements of a good game. “Such objectives can't be fulfilled by merely leveraging technology and art. Individuals who truly comprehend the intricacies of the media and human nature must delve into these facets specifically.” Xiong said.

“Honestly, nowadays, students from humanities background often take on copywriting jobs in the games industry. Some game developers have not yet noticed the power of humanists yet. But I hold a firm belief that as the future unfolds, more and more industry insiders will recognize the significant role humanists play in game development.”Xiong said.

“Many HSS students are curious about the game industry and quite a few want to become industry professionals in a couple of years. I believe this talk alongside the workshop provides them with an unprecedented opportunity to explore the industry from a designer perspective. They are thrilled to learn that game production means more digital arts and programming and their academic backgrounds are highly relevant to the essential values of video games.” Dr Gejun Huang, the contact person of the event remarked.

“At the very core of the virtual world lies emotions that deeply resonate with us. It’s predicted that the future game design landscape will undoubtedly open up opportunities for intellectuals from the humanities and social sciences. This is the horizon that HSS students should be gearing up for,” Wanda concluded.


(Reporter: Ruoyi Zhao Editor: Yiyi Gu)

31 May 2024