The Spartan Podcast

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“The Media Sandbox is a program of integrated media arts,” MSU Media Sandbox director David Wheeler tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and MSU Alumni Association Executive Director Scott Westerman. “We live in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences and span the three departments of journalism, advertising and media and information, which for us, included cinematic arts and game design.”

What makes the program unique, says Wheeler, is that “it’s not just media, and it’s not just technology. Technology changes, but content remains somewhat the same – about telling a story.”

Students who leave the program produce content that helps feed the mainstream entertainment machine, but entrepreneurship and collaboration are key components of the program.

“People have to be prepared to do their own thing and to start their own companies,” says Wheeler. “We’re trying to prepare students who are really prepared to do so.

“Playing games and going to movies have nothing to do with the actual creation of these media,” adds Wheeler. “That does not prepare you. You can see a thousand movies and you still don’t know how to make them. Students have to really want to participate; the experience can be transformative.”

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