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What is GDIAC?

The Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC) was formed in the Fall of 2001 with a mission to see if studying games was a viable academic area. Five years later Cornell want on to approve of the nation's first undergraduate Ivy League program in game design.

What does GDIAC do?

GDIAC offers three courses on game design and development, which typically involve a little over 100 students a year. Students work in multidisciplinary teams composed of artists, writers, musicians, programmers, and producers, all engages in the processes of design and development of original games.

Through the flexibility of Cornell's independent study courses, students build game portfolios to help them find jobs in the entertainment industry, as well as other related fields. These projects often include cutting-edge game technology, innovations, and industry applications.

GDIAC has helped students in finding internships and full-time jobs in the game industry. It holds ties with industry leaders such as Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Irrational Games, Valve, Riot Games, Pokemon, Zynga, and Bethesda Softworks. GDIAC has also helped to connect students with game development opportunities in the area of education and the military.

GDIAC has also forged strong ties in the Ithaca community, and has partnered with organizations such as The Learning Web and The Fingerlakes Unschoolers Network to provide area youth with the opportunity to apprentice with Cornell game developers. The youth get the opportunity both to contribute and learn valuable skills from the mentors on the teams while having a blast making a game.

What public events does GDIAC sponsor?

At the end of every academic year, GDIAC holds a showcase highlighting the various student game projects. This showcase is typically announced in the news section of this web page. It is also announced through several event calendars throughout the Ithaca community.

This showcase is open to the public, and we encourage everyone, even those not affiliated with Cornell, to come and enjoy the showcase. Each year the showcase concludes with an award ceremony that includes awards from both the audience and a panel of judges.