Australian Film College Announces Advanced Degree in Virtual Worlds


Students at Australia's Film Radio and Television school are about to join a growing international collective of schools that want to see students competitive in the Metaverse.

The alma mater of some of Australia's best-known filmmakers is offering a Graduate Certificate in Video Games and Virtual Worlds starting next year.

Pixels and Policy takes a look.

Degrees in Virtual Design

According to the AFTRS course website, for just $5,900 and a few nights a week you too can become a certified Virtual Worlds expert.

AFTRS thinks virtual worlds are going to play an increasing role in film and storytelling in the near future. Check out the course description:

This course concentrates on the development of original concepts for
virtual stories, games, social worlds and innovative gameplay resulting
in the creation of a working prototype by the end of the course.

The crossover
between cinematic storytelling and virtual environments, particularly
in the areas of cinematography, storytelling, character and environment
design are investigated in real world exercises and briefs.

It's true. HBO ran a machinima series based completely in Second Life and basked in being an innovative trend-setter. Second Life cinematographers have a cornucopia of websites detailing their projects, outlining the craft, and providing helpful tips to budding virtual auteurs. As Hollywood looks for innovative ways to rope in audiences, virtual theater can't be far away.

Art and Culture Move to the Metaverse

Big Brother also launched a Second Life version of their horrendous reality show, though why anyone would volunteer to put an avatar through that kind of embarrassment leaves me blank. Big producers are always in search of new hooks, and with Hollywood's big rollout of virtual-themed films like Gamer and Surrogates, the small screen could see the trickle-down effect of our national interest in virtual reality as soon as next season.

It makes perfect sense that art schools would lead the way in standardizing virtual worlds/cinema education, especially given the offbeat reputation of their students. I admit ignorance over how many U.S. art and film colleges currently have virtual worlds certificates, but I'm willing to bet the number is either very small or nonexistant.

So, would you apply for the Graduate Certificate in Virtual Worlds? When do you think Second Life will make its small screen debut? Dwight Schrute's brief cameo of his Assistant Regional Manager avatar on The Office doesn't count, of course. That's just too easy.