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  • As we move further into the 21st century, it becomes evident that the future of industry, education and entertainment is one in which games and simulations play an increasingly important role in our society - one in which they change the way people live, work and play.  Leading analysts forecast that video and computer game software sales alone will soon surpass $40 billion, and that the next generation of video game consoles may achieve household penetration rates approaching 70 percent, making them nearly as commonplace in American homes as video cassette recorders.

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Top Ten Game Industry Facts

  • U.S. computer and video game software sales grew eight percent in 2003 to $7 billion – a more than tripling of industry software sales since 1996.

  • In 2003, more than 239 million computer and video games were sold, or almost two games for every household in America.

  • Half of all Americans age six and older play computer and video games.

  • The average age of a game player is 29 years old.

  • The average game buyer is 36 years old. In 2003, 94 percent of computer game buyers and 84 percent of console game buyers were over the age of 18.

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Top Ten Game Industry Facts

  • Thirty-nine percent of game players are women.

  • Eighty-five percent of all games sold in 2003 were rated "E" for everyone or "T" for teen.

  • Ninety-two percent of parents surveyed who have children under the age of 18 say they monitor the content of the interactive games their children play, and 55 percent of parents say they play interactive games with their kids at least once a month.

  • Forty-three percent of game players say they play games online one or more hours per week, up from thirty-seven percent in 2003 and thirty-one percent in 2002.

  • More than half of game players expect to be playing as much or more 10 years from now as they do today.

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From Entertainment to Education

  • The gaming industry is being fueled by a generation of young people who have grown up on video games, making the crossover to training and other industries even more likely. As baby-boomers leave the workforce, the demographic changes dramatically with a shift toward employees who embrace electronic games intuitively, and who don’t know a world without the Web.

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Demand for Professionals

  • According to the Entertainment Software Association, the game development industry is an $11 billion per year industry [2002], and trained developers and animation experts are highly sought after. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks software engineering #1 out of the top 25 fastest-growing occupations. Annual salaries for Art/Animation Specialist, Simulation/Game Design, Audio/Video Specialist and Level Design positions can range from the high $40,000's to around $70,000 after one or two years of experience. Annual salaries for Programming positions can range from the high $50,000's to around $110,000 after one or two years of experience.

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Target Markets

  • Entertainment Industry, Engineering, Health Care Industry, Forensics, Education, NASA, etc.

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Job TitlesThe Simulation/Game Designer

  • Simulation/game designers decide what the simulation/game will actually do. They decide on the theme, objectives and rules of play. Most development teams have a lead simulation/game designer who is responsible for the overall concept and feel of the simulation/game. Design team members work with artists and programmers to develop the lead simulation/game designer’s vision into a working reality. Simulation/game designers work closely with their team. Their work involves brainstorming, collaboration, and repeated revisions. Designers organize their ideas by writing short scripts or narratives and by sketching storyboards to describe the sequential action of the simulation/game.

    • Simulation/Game Designer

    • Level Designer

    • Interface/Navigation Designer

    • Interaction Designer

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Job TitlesThe Simulation/Game Artist

  • Simulation/game artists are responsible for the look and feel of the simulation/game. Artists develop a consistent look and style for the simulation/game through the creation of the characters, environments, graphic effects and menu interfaces. Common roles within the artistic team include character modeling and animation, background modeling, textures and conceptual design.

    • Concept Artist

    • Technical Artist

    • Character Artist

    • Environment Artist

    • Vehicle Artist

    • Animator

    • Level Artist

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Job TitlesThe Simulation/Game Programmer

  • Simulation/game programmers turn the fanciful visions of the designers into reality by planning and writing the simulation/game software. The programmers translate the design and artistic teams’ work into mathematical equations that the computer understands. Simulation/game programmers control the speed of the simulation/game as well ensure the proper placement of art and sound within the action. As the technical experts of the simulation/game, programmers are faced with the challenge of optimizing and managing the project schedule, cost, quality of the code and player satisfaction.

    • Simulation/Game Programmer

    • Senior Simulation/Game Programmer

    • Simulation/Game Database Programmer

    • Render Programmer

    • Audio Programmer

    • Animation Programmer

    • AI Programmer

    • Simulation/Game Engine Programmer

    • Mobile Programmer

    • On-line/Network Simulation/Game Programmer

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Job TitlesThe Simulation/Game Tester

  • Many young simulation/gamers dream of a career as a simulation/game tester because they get to play simulation/games for a living! In reality, the job of a simulation/game tester involves much more than merely playing. Testers work closely with the programmers throughout the development process to ensure the code is bug-free and play each part of the final simulation/game to find errors in the simulation/game before the final product is shipped to stores. In addition to reporting their findings, testers are often responsible for determining solutions to the problems they discover.

    • Simulation/Game Tester

    • Quality Assurance Analyst

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Other Job Titles

  • The Simulation/Game Engineer

    • Network Engineer

    • Software Engineer

    • Audio Engineer

  • The Simulation/Game Manager

    • Simulation/Game Producer

    • Simulation/Game Project Manager

    • Art Director

    • Creative Director

    • Technical Director

  • The Simulation/Game Marketer

    • Simulation/Game Marketer

    • Designers/Creators

    • Artists

    • Programmers

    • Sound Engineers

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    Vision Representations Pilot

    This vision representation shows how the world looks through the eyes of a pilot who has suffered complications after eye surgery.

    Original image representing the pilot's vision on the job before surgery - shown left.

    This is how the pilot sees the same image after surgery. This pilot can

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    Vision Representations, Double Vision

    The images below represent the vision of a person who suffers double vision due to a head injury. In this case, both an eye chart and a typical nighttime scene was used to demonstrate the visual experience caused by this person's condition.

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