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Ringling College Partners with Creative Studio for VR Program

woman using vr headset

As part of a new virtual reality degree program, Ringling College of Art and Design is teaming up with creative studio Flight School to give students real-world experience in VR game development.

Ringling College launched its Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Virtual Reality Development in fall 2018 with input from Brandon Oldenburg, co-founder of Flight School as well as a graduate of the college and a member of its Board of Trustees. A major component of the program is the opportunity for students to collaborate with Flight School to create a "playable" game in VR, according to a news announcement. "The students receive hands-on experience designing for virtual reality and learn about the production of VR assets," the announcement said, while "the studio gets the fresh thinking and design skills of the students to create a beautiful end product."

This year, students studying Game Art have been working with Flight School to create a VR game that will be introduced at SXSW 2019, while students in Business of Art and Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Motion Design are working to brand and market the game, the announcement added.

"Working with professionals holds our students to professional standards — and to professional expectations and parameters," said Morgan Woolverton, interim department head for Virtual Reality Development and Game Art, in a statement. "When you are a student, you are often only responsible to your own creative vision, but opportunities like this teach students to find their voice, to find their creative solution within an existing client framework. And that is what it takes to be a great creative."

"In addition to giving students real-world experience in the VR field, the partnership will also help us test our VR course offerings and inform the VR curriculum as we pioneer the world's first Virtual Reality Development major," added Larry Thompson, president of Ringling College.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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