Roll For Initiative

PLAINVIEW - Simply put, when players roll for initiative, they are rolling to see who starts the process, or to find something better. When it comes to gaming, Wayland Baptist University has the initiative, developing a new tabletop gaming design degree to meet the needs of a growing niche that loves the unplugged environment.

Wayland's new Bachelor of Arts in Humanities degree with an emphasis in tabletop game design is avenue through which students can invest in "nerd culture" to pursue a highly marketable humanities degree. Within the scope of the degree, students will take classes in graphic design, marketing, 3-D modeling, storytelling, communications and other areas that will help them take their gaming ideas from concept to the marketplace while earning a degree that easily opens a world of career opportunities.

The capstone project for the degree is the complete creation of a game that is ready to market to gaming companies.

Dr. Kimberlee Mendoza, Dean of the School of Languages and Literature, developed the degree after seeing a need that literally plays out on the Wayland campus in the form of the Gamer's Guild. The Guild is a student group that meets regularly, bonding through their love of games.

"There is a whole tabletop gaming subculture that embraces the idea of gathering socially to play games," Mendoza said. "We already have a growing community of gamers at Wayland.

"Through this degree program, students will build life-long relationships and learn how to develop their ideas into viable, marketable games."

The key component of the new degree plan is the game-design capstone course. Students will graduate with a prototype of a game they develop. While still in the planning phase, there is even the idea that completed games can be unveiled at a special event each year.

While emphasizing tabletop gaming, the humanities degree is far more versatile. Humanities is the study of the "art of human expression." This encompasses music, fine arts, literature, dance, theatre, film, philosophy, history, religion, culture, language and more. With this degree, students are able to choose the courses they are interested in, within the confines of the humanities. The degree offers a broad perspective that can be applied to any career or context. It is also a strong foundational degree for students who want to attend graduate school.

Along with providing inspiration for the new degree program, the Gamer's Guild will also be actively involved in campus life as the gaming culture continues to grow. The group has already planned a WayCon pop-culture festival scheduled for Oct. 30. The event will be open to public participation. More information about the event will be made public as plans solidify.

The degree, which officially opens with the Fall 2020 catalog, is also available to students who want a degree in the humanities, but aren't interested in tabletop gaming. They will choose from any minor offered at Wayland.

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