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DU Professor explores the innovative world of eGaming

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Octavio Gonzalez

Student Writer


Whether you're a parent of a young child who enjoys playing video games after school or an avid gamer yourself, ongoing innovation within the gaming industry provides plenty of excitement. At the University of Denver, future gaming innovators can be found in the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science. 

Professor of the Practice Serban "Ben" Gansciu teaches the Game Capstone course, bringing more than a decade of experience in the gaming industry to the classroom.

The gaming industry goes well beyond just 'video games.' Whether it is marketing campaigns for the next big game or being the face of a game's competitive esports scene, there is something for everyone in the gaming industry.

An avid gamer at a young age, Ben knew he was destined to enter the gaming industry.  

"While I entered the gaming industry in 2019, it was at a very young age that I realized this was the career path for me. I always played video games as a kid, from Super Mario 64 to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I remember seeing a magazine highlighting the gaming industry conference E3. Looking at this magazine I realized 'wow, people get paid to make video games; I want to do that.'"

Working towards his dreams, Ben attended the University of Waterloo in Canada to obtain a bachelor's in Computer Science. While Ben attributes his foundational success to the university, he believes that his leap into the gaming industry came from his "graduate school experience."

"Being a Professor, I often get asked questions from students such as 'how did you make it into this field? What should I do?' I always tell them to pursue internships regardless of academic year or graduation. Upon graduation, I encourage my students who are thinking of starting their gaming studio to work for big companies, encouraging them to view this entry position as a 'graduate program' that is paying you to learn and work real-time."

Building on his internship and employment experiences, Ben developed his own company called the Wandering Band in 2018. The Wandering Band, a company that began virtually, launched the Airborne Kingdom on December 17, 2020. In the Airborne Kingdom, players can grow their unique town high above the clouds from a single floating fan to a sprawling kingdom and perhaps restore serenity to the world below.

 "When reflecting on what The Wandering Band is trying to do and the Airborne Kingdom, I can't help but recognize the growth and shifts of the gaming industry. Sure, you still have your games designed to reach the target audience groups of 12-28 years old, but that stereotype is changing. The Wandering Band is helping shift that perspective by making wonderfully creative, unique games for all audience members," proudly exclaims Ben.

With a nine-month-old daughter, Ben has found his work-life balance shift to what he dubs 'work-life integration.'

"It's been great being a father, a professor, and a working professional. I have enjoyed taking afternoon walks with my daughter in between work tasks; I have continued to enjoy time playing games and learning how to play an instrument or two. While I still enjoy all games, I have grown to love 'dad games.' These games are those you can play with your friends in a super lax and low stakes environment."  

 As a firm believer in lifelong self-growth, Ben has found it highly inspiring and educational to work alongside his students at DU.  

"Every time you can teach yourself something new, you can awaken your brain. I try to learn something every day. Over days, a little bit of learning builds up to something special over time. Working alongside DU students has added to that belief. I love learning from my students. My favorite thing is being asked a question and my truthful answer being, 'You know, I don't know. Let's explore the answer together.' Those moments where we learn together are priceless."

You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play: eGaming in 2022 and Beyond

To learn more about the world of eGaming, join us for a Community + Values eGaming Symposium May 10, 2022 to hear faculty, industry experts, gamers, designers and developers address the current state of gaming, alternative models of understanding and exploring gaming, and what next steps DU can and should take to provide new and exciting opportunities – curricular and co-curricular – to be part of the gaming world.

Learn more and register