The Master’s degree programme Game Studies and Engineering at the University of Klagenfurt is unique – an interdisciplinary study degree programme that deals with the technical as well as the analytical and ethical aspects of video and other games. Christina Obmann has chosen to pursue the Master’s degree programme Game Studies and Engineering. She talks to us about the programme and tells us why she chose this path.
Why exactly did you choose to study Game Studies and Engineering?
As a video game fan, the degree programme naturally corresponds exactly to my interests. I have already attended seminars in the field of Game Studies as part of my second Master’s degree (English and American Studies) and was immediately enthusiastic about this area of research. I liked the combination of humanities and technical aspects, which is essential for people who want to shape the future of videogames. This approach was what ultimately prompted my decision. You don’t often get the chance to enter a technical Master’s degree programme without a technical background. 😉
Why did you decide to study a technical subject? Were you not “afraid” of it?
I chose it because I found this (for me new) challenge exciting and very valuable for my professional future.
Since I have a background in the humanities and cultural studies (Bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies as well as Media and Communication Sciences), I have to admit that I had concerns at the beginning whether I would be able to keep up well. However, these concerns were immediately overcome, as the supplementary courses and additional offers give enough opportunities to reach a good level. The Master’s degree programme Game Studies and Engineering in particular is very ‘beginner-friendly’. Fear is completely unfounded in any case, but of course you have to be interested and willing to learn.
Are there still new things for you to experience at the university?
Apart from the whole last year of global pandemic 😉 I think that there are always new things to learn and new perspectives to discover, especially in university education. But also the progress in one’s own studies, or extended offers of the university always create new challenges.
Has your view of the world changed as a result of your studies?
Definitely. I learned to think more critically, broadened my horizon and was able to reflect on many internalized thought patterns – but that will always remain ‘work-in-progress’. Especially for this, and less for technical skills, I am very grateful to my studies, because this is where it has shaped me the most.
How do you explain the content of your studies to your family or friends?
When I explain to others that I (simply put) ‘study games’, they are often surprised that such a course of study even exists. When I then explain that I analyze games from various perspectives and also design and develop them by myself, most of them can already imagine something. A much more annoying question for me is the eternal ‘and what can you do with it?’…
Most of the time, however, it’s not even that important to go into so much detail. Especially for my family it’s just important to see that I really enjoy my studies and my field of work.
Why did you choose Klagenfurt?
At the beginning of my studies for rather pragmatic reasons, but then quite consciously for my Master’s degree programmes because I had lots of positive experiences with the University of Klagenfurt and the professors in my field in recent years.
Why should one study here at the University of Klagenfurt?
First of all, because this programme in its interdisciplinary form is not offered anywhere else. 😉 But also because it offers great opportunities to gain practical experience, to get to know people from the most diverse disciplines, and last but not least because the supervision of the professors (also due to the limited number of students) is top-notch.
What are you looking forward to when coming to campus?
To have exciting discussions with well-known colleagues and lecturers, and thus gain new insights and make connections.
What would be important advice for first-year students?
If you don’t know anyone yet, it is always helpful to take part in events such as first-semester tutorials. Even if many things seem new and overwhelming, it is always easier with ‘fellow sufferers’. So go find your community!
And: don’t hesitate to try out language courses or courses from completely different areas (within the framework of the free electives for example) – maybe you’ll find new interests and focal points by chance. Use your study time to try out new things!
Where do you see yourself in ten years? In which field do you want to work?
Planning so far ahead is not my style, and as someone who is interested in many things, I don’t like to think in strict job descriptions. I can well imagine working in the fields of research, communication or art, whether in the university or cultural sector or even in the games industry. Where I will end up eventually remains to be seen.
- My first day at the University of Klagenfurt was… exciting, but fortunately everything I had hoped for.
- My greatest experience in a university course… includes all my Game Studies seminars and Game Labs where we played and analyzed games together. However, I particularly remember the Edu-LARP session during a seminar on British videogames, in which our professor created a wonderful live game experience on Pörtschach’s Blumeninsel for us.
- My student life can’t go without… a pen, a notepad, and my waterbottle (I’m rather old-school there…)
- I am inspired by… many things in life, but often by the thoughts and works (books, art) of interesting people
- My studies in three words… multifaceted, playful, individual