Alumni Western Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

University, industry get game (design) on

Claudette Critchley, BSc’94, BEd’95, wouldn’t call herself a gamer – an odd statement from the COO and co-founder of Big Blue Bubble, Canada’s largest independent mobile gaming company. An influential name in the industry, Critchley is lending her experience and expertise to her alma mater to help define Western as a leading institution for studying game design.

Recently, Western was named among the top designations in the world to study and launch a career in game design, according to The Princeton Review’s rankings of the best graduate and undergraduate schools. The university placed No. 44 in the world among undergraduate programs and was one of only three Canadian schools and the only Ontario institution on the list.

Crtichley, who sits on the Advisory Board for Computer Science, is influencing the future of Western’s game design curriculum so students receive the technical and professional skills needed to be the next new employee for Big Blue Bubble.

Of the people on the technology team at Big Blue Bubble, 80 per cent are Western graduates. This is not a coincidence, as the proximity to highly skilled and knowledgeable students allows the company to mine talent from its own backyard. All students who have completed internships at Big Blue Bubble have been offered full-time employment.

“We do what we can to future-proof our students. We don’t just focus on a particular technology; we cover several different technologies and platforms so as soon as there is something new on the horizon, our students are able to go off and tackle that,” said Mike Katchabaw, professor and Undergraduate Chair of Computer Science.

This article appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of Alumni Gazette
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