UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The perceptions of game developers compared to research on employment readiness regarding shortcomings in expertise and implications for curriculum development Ramos, Donald Ray


Twenty three interviews and four surveys were conducted as case studies investigating the perceptions of expertise, expertise acquisition, and gaps in employment readiness for novice game developers. Participants were primarily game development production staff and educators involved in game related programs. Research results were compared to employability skills research. The findings indicated that there is a great deal of alignment between them, but employability skills may be insufficient on their own to be a reliable standalone source for curriculum development in the game development field because of the industry’s unique characteristics. Implications from the research results, and insights from the in-depth interviews, that may be relevant to curriculum developers include evidence for a mismatch of the values, needs, and expectations of stakeholders; and a delineation of key characteristics of expertise and long-term success that may be valuable for inclusion in curriculum outcomes and measures. Two of the key characteristics identified were goal-focused passion, and holistic perspectives. Holistic perspectives included an awareness of heuristic use of tacit knowledge. The model of an expert learner was supported as a potential curriculum outcome focus that encapsulated the main characteristics of expertise that novices or advanced beginners could acquire. Another implication is that there may be a relation between expert characteristics and characteristics of functional behaviours that are related to positive psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy.

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