Cassidy is currently a fifth-year senior student in the Media Arts and Game Development program at UW-Whitewater. Graduating in May '22, she has been a member of the student organization GAMED for 3 years, serving as Vice President last year and President this year.
B.S. in Media Arts & Game Design, emphasis on Technology
B.A. in Film Studies & English, emphasis on Professional Writing & Publishing
Certificates in Women’s & Gender Studies & LGBTQ+ Studies
What led you to choosing your field of study?
Playing through the stories in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I & II and Star Wars: The Old Republic! These stories enraptured me like nothing I'd experienced before and sparked a lifelong interest in both writing for games and telling multimedia stories. I did have some competing interests, but by the time Star Wars: The Old Republic's expansion Knights of the Fallen Empire landed late in my high school career, I knew I wanted to learn how to tell stories like that. Star Wars: The Old Republic remains my favorite video game of all time to this day.
Why did you come to UW-Whitewater? I knew I wanted to attend school close to home, so I only seriously considered schools in Wisconsin. UW-Whitewater first made my shortlist because of my family history; an uncle and both of my parents received education here. In fact, though my parents had known each other before, it was only at Whitewater that their love story began in earnest—I'm a hopeless romantic. UW-Whitewater was also the only school on my shortlist with stellar programs in both English and Game Design (nowhere in Wisconsin is there a specific game writing program), and it's quite close to my grandparents' and aunt & uncle's homes in Janesville to boot! Having a support structure like that close at hand really helps someone who's struggled with anxiety as much as I have.
What's your favorite part of being in the Media Arts and Game Development Program? The professors! I've never had a professor I dislike in a MAGD course, and I've taken courses with virtually all of them at this point. The instruction is consistently smart and relevant, and it provides me with plenty of opportunities to try out the skills I'm acquiring. I really feel like no matter which MAGD professor I have in a given course, I can go to them if I need help and feel like they genuinely care about me and have my back.
Favorite class? My favorite MAGD class to date was COMM 351: Game Studies & Design with Dr. Rhea Vichot. We examined board games, card games, and video games of all types; performed written analysis on many of those games; and got the chance to apply that knowledge by creating games of our own! It was a lot of work, but it brought my three skillsets together like no MAGD course before or since!
What do you hope to do after graduation? Well, hopefully write stories for games one day! I'm not sure if I'll be able to find an entry-level position doing that or not, but I'll certainly look. Otherwise, I'll try to find a starting job in a different facet of game design, writing, or film/media analysis and start garnering some experience. I also intend to use my knowledge of games and communication to earn supplementary income creating content on Twitch, and I might even go to grad school sometime down the road—I still have a lot of big decisions to make.
Are there any class projects that stand out to you? This is End of the Party, the project from my MAGD 488: Advanced Team Projects capstone was a fun project to work on. I worked with Leah Blasczyk, Wes McWhorter, Sydney Myers, Alyssa Fuller, and Damian Monson. My role on the team was mostly story: creating the different scenarios the party can encounter. However, I also implemented some of the scenarios into Unity (Leah did the rest), which allowed me to utilize my programming skills as well.