Interactive Arts and Science

Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Arts and Science,
Brock University Centre For Digital Humanities, St. Catharines

The IASC program puts you right into the exciting and rapidly expanding field of new media and digital interactivity! Online gaming, Facebook and Second Life are just the beginning. Soon you too can create digital and social media, 3D online environments, exciting new video games, and even interactive art!

Degree types offered:

  • BA honours
  • BA pass
  • Combined major
  • Minor
  • Concentration in Computer Game Development

Snapshot

Brock’s interdisciplinary Centre for Digital Humanities uses digital technologies to study, create, transmit, and preserve human culture. It celebrates computers as instruments of conservation and understanding, and as tools for creativity and genius. Interactive Arts and Science (IASC), the centre’s flagship program, mashes up computer programming and information technology with literature, language, history and the arts.

IASC teaches independent inquiry, problem solving and portfolio building by visualizing ideas using digital tools. You investigate the interplay of digital media with human identity and values. You study how technology builds knowledge, creates culture, and affects how we communicate. Ultimately, you learn to be a cultural producer, multimedia designer, or electronic artist at the intersection of computers and digital knowledge, interactive fiction, game play, simulation and production.

Core courses explore the social impact of Web 2.0 and interactive media. Then they investigate the wider social context of games, including why people choose some games over others. Finally you learn to work in teams to manipulate and transform ideas into action. Teams tackle complex projects to create amazing new cultural products like video games, websites, or experimental and electronic art.

Students can choose to mash up IASC courses with classes from other departments like communications, popular culture and film, computer science, dramatic arts, english, geography, history, music, and culture and visual arts. Also, the Centre for Digital Humanities provides classroom laboratories, multimedia rooms, a student services center, a new media development lab, an audio-visual room, and a maintenance shop. The Multimedia Production and Innovation Centre, as well as a computer graphics and multimedia lab, are also available to IASC students.

IASC Promotional Video from Kev Greene on Vimeo.

IASC’s program brochure

“The amount of time we spent talking about video games for the past couple of years gives you a hunger to make something out of what you’re learning and to piece it together by doing. Having that opportunity has been really nice and I think if we hadn’t been in IASC, if we [our team] had somehow managed to, through some cosmic thing, come together without the program—which wouldn’t have happened—we probably would have made something very different, and something probably less unique.”
--Ian Danahay, 4th year student and co-creator of the video project Zombie Zoo.

Job Opportunities

IASC grads find careers in the video game, entertainment and media marketing industries, as well as in art galleries, museums, and multimedia design and production. Also, tech companies like BlackBerry, OpenText, Microsoft and Apple need digital designers to bring life and vitality to the user experience. As far as these companies are concerned, the more creative and academically well-rounded, the better!

Several IASC students have done internships at nGen, a technology incubator in downtown St. Catharines. nGen is a hub for interactive digital media projects and business development in the Niagara region. It brings together industry, economic development and post-secondary education to create, grow and maintain interactive digital media enterprises. nGen fosters synergies between important media companies, local arts and culture industries, and educational programs at Brock and Niagara College.

There are lots of jobs for computer literate creators! From advertising and marketing to 3D game developers and sound designers, the sky’s the limit!

Explore

  • 1812: Interactive Niagara is an educational game about the War of 1812 that uses simulations, role playing, and strategy to provide students and others interested in history with a chance to see the impacts of various historic facts and choices on the outcome of this conflict that defines Canadian History. The game will be based on prototypes created by students in the Brock University Interactive Arts and Science Program. Tourists will explore the real world environment of Niagara, as well as virtual space, which they will access through phones such as the Apple iPhone. 
  • Two student-made promotional videos by WryGrin and perrivince.

Comparable Programs

Fun Facts

  • A two-minute animation entitled “Canoe” by Brock assistant professor and visiting artist Donna Szoke was part of Vancouver’s public art program during summer 2011. The Public Art Program celebrates the city's 125th Anniversary.
  • Professor John Bonnet of Brock’s Digital History Lab, nearly missed his chance to speak to a House of Commons standing committee on digital literacy because of a digital glitch.
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