Steven: Having this kind of experience in college definitely gives you a leg up over other students. Of course, any experience should give you a leg up. But experience in playing video games? Seriously?
Well, these young people — believe it or not — are actually studying at the Replay Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia. And the experience they gain here could help them get a job once they graduate.
“We actually created the rest of this all by ourselves — like all the models, all the characters, all the effects you see here, we did.
Steven: Using tools, like a motion capture studio and 3D modeling, Andrew Patras and his classmates are learning the art of video game development. And they are in the right place because it is a career and a business that is exploding.
In 2009, Americans bought more than $20 billion worth of video game systems and software. That is 3 billion more than the movie industry made. $18.7 billion in box office and DVD sales!
The entertainment part of the video game industry is huge. A modern title can make a couple hundred million dollars in one weekend.
Tom Bissell, who is the author of the new book Why Video Games Matter calls video games the artform of our time.
Tom Bissell: I think we are really on the verge of a wider acceptance that it’s not just nerds, it’s not just geeks that play these things. Some very intelligent, thoughtful, smart people are designing them and playing them.
Steven: People like you. Today more than 200 colleges offer gaming courses, training future workers in everything from art design to computer engineering who will one day work at video game giants like Electronic Arts, the company responsible for games like Madden Football and Tiger Woods Golf.
And check this out: EA says it is going to add more than 600 jobs this year. So, what is next for people that want to get started?
While many of the positions are for programmers and software enigneers, you could still be hired even if you have never taken a computer class. Making a game like Madden Football requires graphics artists, animators, writers, testers and even people with foreign language skills. Companies need people to translate games into and out of Japanese!
In this field, software engineers and programmers make the big bucks. They rake in an average of $80,000 and can make as much as six figures. Graphics artists earn an average of $42,000; animators $56,000; writers $53,000 and translators $39,000.
The average starting salary for video game developers? $40,000.
Philip Holt: There is a lot people, this is their first job — or one of their first jobs — right out of college
Steven: Philip Holt is EA’s Orlando studio general manager.
Philip: We love university students because they come in, they’re excited, they are a freshly-minted skill set, and you know they are looking to establish themselves and start a career and work hard and do great things.
Steven: And this game isn’t just for guys.
Philip: It’s a fun business but it’s a serious business as well. So, we actually have deadlines and goals that we have to accomplish. We just can’t sit around and play games all day. I wish we could.
Steven: Steven Fabian, Channel One News.
Can you really get fit by working out with your video game?
NEW YORK (AP) — While waiting for Donald Trump to take the stage this week at a campaign rally in Exeter, New Hampshire, fans listened to a few hit songs by Adele, “Skyfall” and “Rolling in the Deep.”
That has apparently hit all the wrong notes with the British superstar: She has said she’d like Trump to quit playing her songs at political rallies.
“Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning,” said Benny Tarantini, an Adele spokesman.
But mega-best-selling Adele may not be able to stop The Donald here.
Legally, the Republican presidential candidate has paid for the right to blast pretty much any music he wishes, as long as he does it correctly.
“Mr. Trump’s campaign paid for and obtained the legal right to use these recordings,” said Hope Hicks, a Trump spokeswoman.
Copyright experts say campaigns don’t need an artist’s permission to play their songs at rallies as long as the political organization or the venue has gotten what’s known as a blanket license from the performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI.
The license isn’t for a single artist but for all the music in the licensing group’s repertoire, which is staggering. ASCAP represents over 10 million musical works from over 525,000 songwriters and composers. BMI represents 10.5 million musical works created by more than 700,000 songwriters. The license is for the right to perform the song publicly.
“When the campaign bus pulls into a town square in Iowa and starts blaring music, most times they’ve learned to get a license for that so they’re not violating a copyright,” said Lawrence Y. Iser, a partner and expert in copyright law at the Santa Monica, California-based firm Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump & Aldisert.
The campaign then must pay a small fee to the performing rights organizations. BMI, for example, charges 6 cents for every campaign rally attendee at an event where the music is played. A portion of the 6 cents goes to the artist.
But the use of the music can’t escalate much past the rally without more permissions. A political campaign, even with a blanket license, couldn’t use Adele’s music in a campaign commercial for TV or YouTube without permission and a separate license.
A long list of musicians, including Jackson Browne, Don Henley and David Byrne, have sued political campaigns for using copyrighted songs without permission in commercials or videos — but not for playing their music at rallies. Even so, artists have some recourse when it comes to blanket permission.
“We built into the license agreement a provision which allows a BMI songwriter or publisher to object to the use of their songs and, if so, we have the ability to exclude it from the license,” said Mike Steinberg, senior vice president for licensing at BMI.
That’s how Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler last year got Trump to stop using the power ballad “Dream On” at campaign events. He sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Republican presidential candidate and BMI told the campaign that it would yank the tune. (Trump tweeted that he wouldn’t be playing the Aerosmith song anymore since he found a “better one to take its place.”)
Iser, who has represented Jackson Browne and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne when their songs were used in campaign ads, has been called in again this political cycle to represent songwriter Sean Altman in a dispute with the Rand Paul campaign over the use of Altman’s “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” in a campaign ad.
Iser said the issue for artists isn’t about politics or how artists personally feel about candidates but about constitutional rights. “The Founding Fathers decided they get protection,” he said.
Iser also said there is a bigger legal argument to be made that campaigns that use songs also tap into the artists’ persona, voice and personality. “It becomes an endorsement,” he said. But so far, that argument is a gray area in the law. “Nobody has gone after a campaign for using a song at a live rally.”
Iser said one long-term solution to the fight over music played every election cycle would be to have ASCAP or BMI offer artists the chance to let them avoid having their music used at rallies entirely.
“It seems to me that there should be an opt-out ability where an artist — coming into an election cycle — who does not want BMI to license her music for any political campaign, should have that right,” he said.
Steinberg of BMI said that idea might be feasible down the road.
“It’s possible that may happen in the future. I think up until this point it’s been more reactive in terms of an after-the-fact questioning of the usage,” he said. “Perhaps it’s something that we might evaluate in the future as a way to avoid circumstances like this.”
On a remote island off of Nantucket, scientists are using a tool most commonly associated with war and surveillance to get a look at fuzzy baby seals.
Researchers who want to get a handle on the growth of New England’s gray seal population have been using drones as part of an effort to photograph the animals, which gather in huge numbers on remote islands.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used a pair of unmanned aircraft on Muskeget Island off of Massachusetts to take pictures of seal pups in January. The island is the biggest gray seal breeding colony in the country.
The pictures will help scientists find how many gray seals there are in Northeastern waters, said Kimberly Murray, the coordinator of the seal research program at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center.
“We need to know how many seals there are before we can know what’s going on, and how to manage them. Or, I should say, manage us,” Murray said.
The population of gray seals, which can grow to more than 600 pounds as adults, has rebounded since the mid-20th century after being decimated by hunting. The growth of the seals has generated some complaints from charter fishing boat operators and beachgoers, creating a need for data about their population.
The scientists used two drones on Muskeget — a six-wing aircraft than resembles a helicopter and another that looks somewhat like a foam bird. Two-person research teams launched them from dunes on the island, surrounded by seal pups. One researcher operated the drone via joystick while the other monitored a real-time video screen.
“One of the hardest parts was accessing the island,” said Elizabeth Josephson, a data manager and drone pilot.
The research focused on the six-week gray seal pupping period, and the video/data will be used for ongoing studies and research for seals It will be many months before the results are known.
The work with the drones was part of a larger effort to photograph seals that also took place elsewhere in Massachusetts and in Maine involving the use of manned aircraft.
MOSCOW (AP) — A music video with more than 33 million views online has inspired organizers of a Moscow art exhibit to offer free admission to women who turn up wearing high heels.
The video by Leningrad, one of Russia’s most popular rock bands, tells the story of a young woman going on a date with a man called Sergei to a show of works by Vincent van Gogh.
Moscow’s Art Play announced earlier this week that it will offer free admission to its multimedia van Gogh exhibition to women wearing high heels, and give a 50 percent discount to any man whose name is Sergei.
Kira Marinina, deputy curator of the exhibition, said organizers decided that offering discounts in the current economic situation would offer an occasion “to laugh at ourselves.”
The NCAA football rules committee will consider allowing replay officials to call targeting penalties that are missed by on-field officials.
The committee will take up the issue next week when it is scheduled to meet for three days, starting Tuesday, in Orlando, Florida.
Any changes to the targeting rule figure to draw the most attention from fans. The targeting rule was instituted in 2013 to decrease hits to the head and deter players from leading with their helmets. The penalty is 15 yards and the penalized player is ejected from the game. The ruling on the field is subject to video replay review and can be overturned.
The committee will consider giving replay officials more flexibility in how they review targeting penalties and allow them to call fouls that are not called on the field.
The committee will again review the illegal man downfield penalty. The current rule penalizes the offense if linemen are more than 3 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage when a pass is thrown. Last year the committee proposed changing the limit to 1 yard, but the proposal was tabled. It can be a difficult rule to enforce, with one official responsible for tracking five linemen. Complaints from defensive coaches about uncalled violations of the rule have been on the rise in recent years as offenses try to take advantage by passing behind run-blocking linemen.
The committee will review ways to help officials enforce the rule more consistently.
The committee will also consider:
— Making permanent an experimental rule that allowed medical observers in the press box last year with the ability to contact field officials and stop play if a player needs to be examined.
— Whether to consider a ball carrier that slides or otherwise gives himself up to be a defenseless player, a move that could lead to more targeting calls.
— Allowing teams to use tablets or computers on the sideline for coaching purposes. Currently, electronics that can be used for coaching and strategy are banned from the sideline.