Published: April 19, 2012

Faculty conversations: Patrick Shaw

Contact(s): Meghan Spork University Relations Student Writer cell: (248) 250-3743

Patrick Shaw loves video games. 

He said playing games has not only provided enjoyment, but taught him life skills. 

Shaw is a visiting instructor with Michigan State University's Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, where he teaches classes on game creation and design. He instructs students on flash animation and also teaches a course in which students create a serious game prototype for a company. 

Shaw also is working with TISM professor Carrie Heeter to develop an online program for master’s students interested in serious games. The principle audiences for the program are game developers who want to expand their skill set and focus on creating serious games that can make the world a better place, and educators who recognize that games are an influential part of modern society, but do not have the skill set to create games. 

"By bringing these two groups together, we hope they will be able to learn from each other and cross pollinate," Shaw said. 

With a focus on these audiences, it was essential that the master's program is offered online because many members of these audiences already have jobs that may not be located near Michigan, Shaw said. 

For instance, game developers are often located on the east or west coasts, but not often in the Midwest. By offering the program online, both game developers and educators can interact at their convenience.