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MDIA student earns recognition a third time for game design

Erin Roberts | Dec 15, 2011

MDIA student earns recognition a third time for game design

By Erin Roberts,

ATHENS, Ohio (Dec. 15, 2011)—Michael Stephens, a sophomore majoring in Digital Media at Ohio University, won 2nd place in the Game Career Guide “Location, Location, Location” Design Contest in mid-November, marking the third time during Fall Quarter he placed in the challenge series, a record for any student at Ohio University.

Stephens, a Columbus native, says the challenges are a good way to put skills into practice and gain experience.

“It’s a great opportunity to practice designing things and to have them judged by people you don’t know,” Stephens said. “It’s great to get feedback on your design.”

Stephens began experimenting with the challenges to earn extra credit in classes taught by John Bowditch, who also runs the GRID (Games Research and Immersive Design) Lab at Ohio University. Stephens has only recently begun taking the courses for the digital media major but is impressed so far with instructors and classmates.

“It’s a great program because you are surrounded by like-minded people,” he said. “John is an awesome instructor, and I think most people in the program are a great resource to take advantage of.”

Game Career Guide is a publication of Game Developer Magazine. According to its website,'s Game Design Challenge is an exercise in becoming a game developer and asks the developer to approach game design from various users’ perspectives by sponsoring biweekly challenges.

Five additional Ohio University students placed in Game Design Challenges during Fall Quarter. They include Turok Tucker, Max Alvarez, Dan Miller, Stephen Buchanan and Ben Holschuh.

To learn more about the digital media major at Ohio University, visit