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History & Mission

In the Fall 2001, The Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC) was formed by a group of students, faculty, and alumni who wished to study game design in an academic setting. At first an informal organization, GDIAC gained official recognition with the creation of the Minor in Game Design in Fall 2006.

Currently, GDIAC supports undergraduate courses in game design and development, game-oriented graduate student projects, a youth-outreach program, and game-related faculty research. Through its efforts, GDIAC strives to:

  • Develop game design and development as an academic discipline.
  • Prepare students for careers in the entertainment software industry.
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary learning.
  • Research the social and technical aspects of games.
  • Motivate diverse groups to pursue technical studies.
  • Perform and disseminate research on game design in multidisciplinary education.

GDIAC currently pursues its missions by creating opportunities for students to develop projects in courses and credit-bearing independent studies. Students with skill and interest in music, art, writing, programming, and/or engineering work in multidisciplinary teams on the interdisciplinary field of game design. Many students continue their game projects over several semesters, thereby developing a large portfolio of technical work. Other students also pursue GDIAC courses as opportunities to develop teamwork and communication skills.