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Video gaming Web site offers education, jobs

POSTED AT 10:03 PM ON Oct. 20, 2008 

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Forget the ultimate gaming experience.

GameZombie is “a prime way to get hands on learning experience,” said adjunct professor Spencer Striker, creative director and executive producer at GZ.

Beginning no more than 18 months ago as a graduate level project, GameZombie.tv was born as a Web site dedicated to video games.

“GZ is a high quality, online video series that focuses on interviews and reviews all related to video games,” said senior Charles Pearce, the production manager at GameZombie.

Since then, GZ has developed first into an internship program and now into an IU class for telecommunications majors looking to pursue careers in the industry. Modeled as an actual business, “(Video) editors get to flex their muscles more than in any other class,” said producer Adrienne Thiery, a senior majoring in telecommunications.

“What we do for students is fairly unique,” Striker said.

The students spend their time creating professional-looking videos to be published online.

However, the class goes above and beyond by using advanced multimedia and viral marketing to allow students to promote their work.

“We get our editors used to talking to production companies,” Pearce said. “It’s basically like a first job. By forcing students to get their work out there, the big companies already have their names, and the students see the results from their work return in the form of jobs.”

Evidence of GZ’s impact is already noticeable.

“When I start talking about GameZombie (to production companies), they listen, and they love it,” Thiery said.

Past students have already received jobs at places such as G4. One student received a job doing the video production for one of the top soccer teams in the country.

With more than 180 videos online, GameZombie.tv is growing quickly and establishing a name for itself. GZ has coordinated with bebo.com – a site similar to YouTube – GameTrailers.com and Dailymotion.com to promote their work.

In 2008, Striker and the GameZombie team won the Webbie Award as one of the strongest video Web sites on the Internet.

Originally a site exclusively for reviews, GameZombie.tv has evolved into incorporating high profile interviews, gaming news, as well as fictional comedy programming.

“We are developing shows that are very relaxed, with conversational banter,” Pearce said. “People will come back to get news, but also because of the relationship factor.”

The GameZombie.tv team is looking to expand yet again with their new class due out this spring. T436: Web Video & The Game Industry is an extension to the current class being offered this semester.

Just like this semester, the curriculum will include making and editing videos to be published online.

“We’re looking for very motivated students,” Striker said. “It’s a great opportunity because the telecom department places heavy emphasis on collaboration. It’s a very collective college.”

Those interested in enrolling in the class this spring should contact GZ at GameZombie.tv to explain what it is they would like to accomplish in the class.

Other students interested in finding out more about GameZombie can see their work at GameZombie.tv or even watch 30-minute episodes on IUSTV.

“GameZombie can help editors find their own voice,” Pearce said.

 

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