Student Profile: Arie Prickler

It didn’t take long for Arie Prickler to realize he wanted more when it came to his career.

The 20-year-old Lehigh County native had received his Associate’s Degree in Program Development from Lehigh Carbon Community College, but knew he would need a stronger foundation to succeed in the gaming industry.

During a transfer fair, Prickler met representatives from Harrisburg University of Science and Technology who told him about the Interactive Media program – a hands-on, professional approach to the career Prickler hoped to enter.

The B.S. in Interactive Media at Harrisburg University includes the concepts of new media, interactivity, interaction design, human computer interaction, digital culture, cyber culture and includes areas such as interactive narrative, videogames, social media, virtual reality, and augmented reality wherein user and machine both take on an active role. Interactive media is not limited to electronic media, digital media, game design or digital communications.

“I’d like to end up in a game studio as a 3D modeler or working in 3D animation,” Prickler said. “The Interactive Media program seemed like the perfect continuation of what I had already learned, and the right choice in furthering my education.”

As a junior at Harrisburg University, Prickler has enjoyed a variety of experiences that have added to his education.

One of his first projects was to create a 15 second animation on his own. With a professional on standby, should he need the guidance, Prickler was able to use a model he created himself to complete the independent project.

He also enjoyed one of his creative writing courses, where he learned to write freely – an aspect of the gaming industry that will prove useful down the road.

“Because creative freedom is so encouraged, I get to see the different ideas from each one of my peers,” Prickler said. “By the end of the semester, everybody has learned so much about themselves and about each other.”

Prickler also believes he’ll be a good candidate for nearly any job in his field, thanks to the connections to industry professionals that Harrisburg University provides. Through internships and mentors, projects for real companies and the newly added game designer in residence, Prickler feels he’ll get a well-rounded view of what employers are looking for in new hires.

He also plans to participate in the upcoming Global Game Jam, where he’ll have the opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills during the 48-hour game design session.

“The idea behind it is that it’s not exactly a competition, but an opportunity to learn new things,” Prickler said. “There are so many people coming together who have different ideas, different techniques and you put that all together to create something great.”

The variety of opportunities that Harrisburg University offers will each contribute to Prickler’s future, he said. From hands-on projects to professional interactions, he’s confident that he’s prepared for a future in the gaming industry.