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What Is Game Art and Design?

Any time you've played a video game, you've used a product created by someone in the field of game art and design. Game software development combines artistic talent with programming skill to create video games for entertainment, education and training purposes. Continue reading for more details about this field.

Game Art and Design

People interact with video games through many different means today. People commonly play video games on console systems, hand-held and mobile devices, arcades, and computers. Games have come a long way from the days of Pong and Pac-Man, with technological advances paving the way for new developments in the fast-paced game-production industry.

Important Facts About This Field

Key Skills Artistic Ability, Creativity, Computer Skills, Teamwork, Time Management
Entry-Level Education Bachelor's Degree
Average Salary (2018)* $78,230 (for multimedia artists and animators)
Similar Occupations Art Director, Computer Programmer, Graphic Designer, Web Developer

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Game Art and Design Programs

Game art and design programs offer a variety of concentrations, but nearly all require basic instruction in areas including computer programming skills, creative writing, storytelling, artistic techniques and visual arts. Some programs specialize in the technical aspects of the field, and you'll need to become proficient in advanced computer programming. Meanwhile, other programs forgo programming instruction and allow you to use existing software applications to create video games.

Some programs focus on games played purely for entertainment; others concentrate on instructional games, including educational games for children, training games for corporations and multimedia simulations for specific industries, such as the fitness industry.

Careers in Game Design

According to the Entertainment Software Association, 65% of households in the U.S. play video games. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for multimedia artists and animators, including those working in gaming, is expected to increase by 8% between 2016-2026. Entry-level positions in this field include the following:

  • Animator
  • Background and environment creator
  • Character developer
  • Game tester
  • 2D artist
  • 3D modeler
  • Multimedia developer