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Mason Game & Technology Academy

Powered by Envision

Mason Game & Technology Academy Video Game Design

Grade: 9–12  
Duration: 1 to 4 weeks  
Location: Fairfax, VA (Day and Residential Sessions Available)

About Mason Game & Technology Academy

Please note: The information below is from the 2016 summer program and is provided as an example of the overall quality and scope of the experience offered. The 2017 summer program information is coming soon.

Level Up Your Game Design Skills

MGTA video game creation

Ready to get up to speed on the latest game development skills and tools? Achievement unlocked! 

The Mason Game & Technology Academy (MGTA) Honors Program, powered by Envision, is a unique program for high school students planning careers in game design and technology. Held on the George Mason University campus in Fairfax, VA, MGTA receives strong support from educators and members of the game design industry.

At MGTA you’ll enjoy classes led by George Mason faculty, and participate in hands-on workshops on a range of gaming technology topics, such as Life as a Game Artist, How to Publish Your Mobile Game, and Unreal or Unity?.

See your dream become reality! Your innovative ideas and the hard work that you put in during the program will be manifested in a playable prototype of your own original game.

MGTA incorporates aspects of entrepreneurship, team dynamics, and game production. The Honors program is infused with the innovative curriculum of the Mason Computer Game Design Undergraduate Program and the entrepreneurial and creative culture at the renowned Virginia Serious Game Institute.

Level up! Beyond the game design experience, you’ll learn skills that will help you succeed in college, your career and in life, like time management, information analysis, communications, team building, and problem solving.

By attending MGTA, you can also receive one college credit per week through George Mason University.

Choose Your Track

Art & Animation
Learn the basics of Concept Art; 2D and 3D design, modeling, and animation; and digital painting, modeling, and building game-ready and optimized 3D and textured objects.

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Mobile Game Development
Get an in-depth look at the game design approaches and challenges for various mobile devices. Learn about mobile app scripting and design skills, as well as UX design.

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Multi-Platform 3D Game Design
Learn the fundamentals of game design, rules, and mechanics, and get an insider look at the computer game design industry, including Unity 3D and Unreal. Explore forming a game company and publishing and marketing games.

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Program Highlights VIEW MORE

Mason Game & Technology Academy Facility
Flexible Scheduling

Attend for one week or multiple to get the experience you want in the tracks that most interest you. Residential students also get a taste of college life by staying on the Mason campus, and enjoy special weekend outings in the DC area, such as a trip to Kings Dominion theme park and the National Mall. Day students get the flexibility they need to attend the program around their work or vacation schedule.

Mason Game & Technology Academy Professors
Game Design Gurus

Students will learn from and interact with experts and faculty from the Computer Game Design Program to gain valuable insight into what is important for success in this discipline. Students in the residential program will also attend speaker events with Dr. Scott Martin, Founding Director of George Mason’s Computer Game Design program and the Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI), and James Casey, VSGI’s Senior Projects Director and an Assistant Professor of Computer Game Design at George Mason University.

Mason Game & Technology Academy Video Game Design
The Business of Games

The serious and entertainment game industry is constantly growing, expanding, and evolving to meet consumer demand and technology improvements. Get hands-on experience and insight from experts in the field, and discover what it takes to start up a successful game design company in this dynamic business, including production and distribution. Students in the residential option will pay a visit to the Virginia Serious Games Institute (VSGI) for an insider's view of the business side of the industry.

Mason Game & Technology Academy Games
Virginia Serious Game Institute

Mason’s Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI) works with entrepreneurs and start-ups that use game tech as a learning tool in a variety of fields, from health care to science education to firefighting. VSGI also conducts research to help companies and government agencies develop their own game-based training tools and helps teachers bring game tech into their classrooms.


2016 Program Details 

Locations and Dates are COMING SOON


Tuition Tuition for MGTA covers most of the expenses incurred during the Academy. Tuition DOES NOT cover transportation to and from the program. LEARN MORE


Scholarships Envision offers a limited number of scholarships to qualified students each year based upon financial need, scholastic leadership, achievements, and other factors. LEARN MORE


Fundraising Let us show you how other students use fundraising to cover some or all of their tuition costs. Make fundraising part of your  personal success stor. LEARN MORE

Payment Plan

Payment Plan You may pay in full today or opt to enroll in our convenient payment plan. LEARN MORE


  • Is the Mason Game & Technology Academy Honors Program for me?
    This summer program is for you if you are a high school student interested in exploring the latest game design tools and learning about the various career options available in the field of game design and technology. MGTA is your springboard to achieving tremendous success in college and in a future career in games.

    To attend MGTA Honors, you must be in grades 9–12 during the 2015–2016 school year. 
  • What is included in tuition?
    Your tuition for MGTA includes housing (residential option only), on-campus meals, supervisory personnel, program materials, all program activities, site visits, a Certificate of Completion and local transportation during the program.

    Your transportation to and from home and the program location is NOT included in tuition. While attending the program, you will only need money for off-campus meals, souvenirs, snacks, and other incidentals.
  • How will I be supervised?
    Your safety and well-being during the program is our highest priority. The program is structured so that you will reside and work in a safe, controlled environment. You will be closely supervised by professionally trained staff, including faculty advisors who serve as educational facilitators and chaperones, security personnel, operations personnel and a program coordinator.

    For more than 30 years, Envision has achieved a stellar record of safely and successfully enriching the lives of students, providing them with superb educational experiences and professional supervision. Other Envision safety measures include:
    • Greeting students at the designated airport upon their arrival and providing shuttle service directly to the program site, as well as providing shuttle service back to the airport on departure day. (Residential program only)
    • Maintaining a student-to-staff ratio of 17-to-1.
    • Providing same-sex rooms and same-sex floors for residential programs.
    • Requiring all students to attend all activities.
    • For residential programs, checking rooms nightly and ensuring that students remain in their rooms, and having night monitors in place to support students who may become ill or who have an emergency during the night.
    • Equipping all staff members with two-way communication devices.
  • Where will I stay?

    For the summer 2016 MGTA Honors program, students who choose the residential option are housed on the campus of George Mason University.  Students who choose the day option will commute to and from George Mason each day.

  • How many students share a room?

    For the residential program, each room will house two to three students. You will have your own bed.

  • Can my parents attend the program?
    No. Your parents or guardians are not allowed to accompany you during the program. Gaining independence, including experiencing new things on your own, is an essential part of your growth during the program. However, it is perfectly fine for your family to travel with you to the program location and stay in the area while you are attending the program.
  • Can I attend if I am a student with special needs?
    Yes. If you are a student with special needs or with disabilities, we encourage you to enroll. We may be able to provide you with auxiliary aids and services to assist you. Please call our Office of Admissions for more information or to discuss your particular needs prior to enrolling in the program.
  • Do I need to make my own travel arrangements?

    If you are attending the residential program, you will need to make your own travel arrangements to the Washington, DC area. Your tuition does not include transportation to and from your home and the program location. We recommend that you make necessary travel arrangements only AFTER you receive confirmation that you are officially enrolled.

  • Can special dietary needs be met?
    Vegetarian options are always available. Kosher and Halal meals can be made available to you, provided the request is submitted prior to the start of the conference. When you complete the Student Information Form, you will have the opportunity to make special dietary requests.
  • What is the difference between the residential and day options?
    You have two options when enrolling in MGTA: a residential option and a day option.

    Students who choose the residential option will work and stay on the George Mason University campus for the two-week program duration. Residential students will visit the Virginia Serious Game Institute and hear special addresses from Dr. Scott Martin and James Casey, participate in National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) workshops, and enjoy fun evening and weekend activities. 

    Students who choose the day option will return to the George Mason University campus each day for course work, lectures, and studio time. The day option provides flexibility in scheduling and track choice. Day students enroll in weekly sessions, and can choose their course focus for each week.