UC’s Digital Media Collaborative lays foundation for gaming pioneer's success

Alumnus Delong Du explains how the program has amplified his career and educational opportunities

Delong Du takes games seriously.

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 2019 with an interdisciplinary degree from the Digital Media Collaborative, Du immediately began working toward a master of science in games and playable media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His coursework includes classes in game design systems and game technologies and his current research focuses on empathy and emotions in games.

When he’s not working on his courses, Du can be found building 3D environments for the new multiplayer virtual reality game “Spellcasters.” It features an in-game spellcasting wand that holds promise to help stroke patients relearn gestures and movements.

You can also find him hanging out in Silicon Valley at the Alternative Learning Technologies and Games Lab, where he works with a team seeking to create and explore the potential of alternative controllers and novel interfaces for user interactions. At the heart of Du's research and game development activities, you’ll find a relentless dedication to harnessing the power of gaming to help people learn and gain skills.

Education in digital media is becoming more sought after due to the industry’s growth and the specific training that employers require. One example of this is animation, in which employment is expected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028 because of the growing demand for visual effects in video games and movies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The Digital Media Collaborative at UC is an interdisciplinary program focusing on animation, filmmaking and game design. Through courses such as digital storytelling and games and new media, the collaborative provides students with a team-based program that prepares them for a wide variety of careers in digital media. 

UC Alumnus Delong Du

UC Alumnus Delong Du

Looking back on his UC career, Du appreciates how the collaborative “encouraged me to grow as an artist and acquire the skills that made me a strong candidate for top grad programs with challenging courses.” He especially valued the opportunity to combine courses on animation and game art and analytical courses in game design and game studies, which were taught by experts such as Mike Gasaway and Evan Torner.

The innovative and interdisciplinary education in UC's Digital Media Collaborative enabled Du to explore career possibilities in film, animation and games, while providing a broad liberal arts learning environment that prepared him for postgraduate studies in one of the nation’s top programs. After he completes his master’s degree, Du plans to pursue his doctorate and continue to define the rapidly expanding and increasingly crucial field in which he is one of the pioneers.

This article is one in a series of student profiles about the opportunities within A&S’s Digital Media Collaborative at the University of Cincinnati. 

Featured image at top: A man uses filming gear to document an event.