Belgian’s are brilliant. You don’t have to know, or be, Hercule Poirot to figure that out. Especially now that Belgium is home to the first University of Gaming in the world.
That’s right, University of Gaming (UOG) opened it’s doors, well at least it’s website for applications this week as was immediately flooded by thousands of applicants eager to take the one year course of study. Founded by the renowned, some might say infamous, professional gamer Chiren Boumaaza, also known as Athene, the UOG curriculum will cover everything from in-game tactics to the social dynamics of gaming. Along the way, students will learn valuable skills and knowledge that will help them succeed beyond the academy whether they are in the real world or a game.
“Games stimulate a problem-solving and critical thinking mentality that is often discouraged in most of our education but is vital to society,” Chiren explains. “The insights and skills we teach are applicable to all aspects of life and are especially powerful to those who want to get into professional gaming.”
Gaming has not only come a long way from Pong, it’s become a viable career path. Back in December 2010 PCWorld declared 2011: The Year of eSports, demonstrating that some gamers can look forward to careers in professional gaming. The opening of UOG just confirms what many industry insiders already knew. The creativity, ambition and obsessive focus serious gamers are known for are skills that are in increasing demand in the workforce.
The UOG program is not just about winning at games, however. Chiren whose gaming related viral videos draw hundred of millions of viewers, will be among the UOG faculty and stresses that this is a university-type program with classes meeting 3-4 hours a day, four days per week.
The program is surprisingly affordable, estimated to be around 1,000 euros. This does not include the cost of travelling to or living in Belgium for a year. The online application for admission is also simple. Aside from the usual contact information (name, email, age), there are only two questions: Why do you want to enroll and How do you plan to attend. Applicants may apply for the term beginning in October 2011 or 2012.