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Richland Gaming students help develop “Serious Games” for iStation
Richland Gaming students Don Massey (left) and Clint Werth (center) brainstorm on a project with Dan Kuenster, Vice President of Creative Services at iStation.

Richland Gaming students Don Massey (left) and Clint Werth (center) brainstorm on a project with Dan Kuenster, Vice President of Creative Services at iStation.

The primary objective of students attending college is to receive an education that will prepare them for whatever career choices they aspire to have.

Thanks to the education they are receiving from the Interactive Simulation and Game Technology (ISGT) program at Richland College, Don Massey and Clint Werth are already accomplishing that as they both currently work full time at iStation in Richardson, Texas.

iStation, where Massey and Werth were interns before becoming full-time employees while still in college, is a revolutionary Internet-based, gaming-like education network and integrated reading and intervention program. Founded in 1998, iStation individualizes instruction for each student, recommends individual and small group instruction and provides reports, which enable educators to meet state and federal reporting and accountability requirements.

At iStation, Massey and Werth have been helpful in building the company’s online training programs, mini movies/tutorials and Web-based training modules for teachers and administrators. Additionally, they produce games for iStation’s earth science, life science, physical science and advanced reading programs.

“These ‘games’ are being used in all levels of education for instructing and assessing students in many different subject areas,” Jeremy Roden, ISGT program director and professor at Richland College, said. “Don and Clint are using what they learned in our program at Richland to help develop and improve learning technologies.”

In addition, public and private schools across the country are beginning to completely understand how research backed ‘serious gaming’ will help improve educational toolsets. The faculty and administration at Richland College are very proud to see Don and Clint help evolve learning strategies in today’s digital classroom.

Gaming program preparing Richland College students for jobs

Richland College’s Gaming educational track focuses on applying interactive simulation technology to develop educational software for schools, like iStation, and businesses, where digital games and simulations can be used to make learning engaging, interactive and self-directed.

Don Massey works on digital components that will become part of a full-scale, computer-generated learning game.

Don Massey works on digital components that will become part of a full-scale, computer-generated learning game.

Also, the educational game design specialization is applicable for:

  • Game designers and programmers creating educational games or instructional software;
  • Teachers interested in innovative learning technologies for the classroom and as ongoing professional development;
  • Educational personnel wanting to learn more about using digital games and animation technology as learning tools; and
  • Marketing professionals wanting to create promotional learning materials for a company’s products or services.

“Having that broad spectrum of everything, from photo manipulation to video editing, has really helped out,” Massey said about the ISGT program. “When I came here [iStation], whenever they have a problem that needs to be fixed, I say, ‘hey I know how to do that.’ ”

And since their arrival at iStation, the company’s upper management has had nothing but positive things to say about them and the education they are receiving from Richland College.

“They are kicking in real work that is being directly used in what is going out with our professional products. They are making a large contribution,” Marc Gilpin, Art Director and Authoring Manager at iStation, said. “Within the first two weeks of Clint coming to the company, he helped me dramatically. I was impressed with Clint immediately. The education he got at Richland helped him do that.”