Alistair Bingham was 12 years old and playing World of Warcraft one day when he thought to himself, “Wait a second. If there are video games, then there are people making these video games. And they’re getting paid to make them. That’s what I want to do!”
Developing games has been his goal ever since. In May, Bingham ’21 became the first graduate of Shenandoah’s Virtual Reality Design program, which was launched in Fall 2019 to prepare students for careers producing high-quality content for emerging immersive technologies and to work as technical specialists and/or programmers in these technologies.
“Virtual reality is the next big step in gaming, and many of the same principles that apply to virtual reality also apply to game development,” Bingham said.
At Shenandoah, Bingham learned how to use 3D modeling, animation tools, and the game development software Unity 3D, along with general principles of immersive experience design.
“In short, I live in Winchester, so when I heard that SU was beginning its VR program, it really felt like fate,” he said. “The choice made itself.”
Bingham is currently applying for a job as a VR game developer in a children’s hospital. The games he would potentially make would be used as therapy tools for the children. It’s a dream job for Bingham, who loves working with kids.
“Kids are so fun to work with, and advocating for kids is my greatest passion along with my passion for games as works of art,” he said. “The fact that I may have a chance to combine those two passions in a career is a literal dream come true.”
Bingham said it’s a bit nerve-wracking to be the first graduate of Shenandoah’s VR program, but he’s ready to succeed.
“It feels like all eyes are on me now, and like there’s a lot expected of me, but to another point, I fully intend to do incredible things with my degree and meet those expectations whether they are present or not,” he said.