GTCC’s many opportunities help simulation and game design major expand his skillset

Published on: November 17, 2022
Charles Tucker, GTCC student ambassador
Charles Tucker, GTCC student ambassador

On the surface it seems that Charles Tucker, a student at Guilford Technical Community College, is majoring in completely mismatched subjects: Simulation and game design, and English.

Dig a little deeper though, and it becomes clear that these are perfectly matched majors. After all, someone has to write the scripts for animated games, and that requires a solid set of writing skills.

“I’ve been coming up with characters and story ideas since I was in fifth grade,” said Tucker, a graduate of R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. “I’ve gotten better and that has made the process faster. I don’t feel like it is that tough, but it’s definitely time consuming.

“I used to draw a lot of it out. I still save what I write. I’ve always liked games with large stories and characters. That’s why I signed up for English courses.”

Tucker, admittedly an avid gamer, has wanted to be a videogame designer since elementary school.

“The more I got into the narrative part of the video, the story and the characters, the more I wanted to do this.”

Tucker doesn’t stay holed up in a dimly lit basement gaming and nurturing a career. He understands the importance of socializing and networking to be successful in any field.

In the spring of 2021, Tucker received an email that he had the qualifying GPA to possibly become a member GTCC’s Student Ambassador Program. He wasn’t sure about the thought of becoming an ambassador for the college, but he decided to pursue it.

“At the last second, I decided to do it and got a Zoom call with Mrs. Cross (Berri Cross, who oversees the program). She told me what I needed to do, and I quickly complied.”

Tucker was one of six students picked to join the Student Ambassador Program, a select group of a dozen students who provide support to the college while getting to network with college and business leaders and build confidence along the way.

“One of the things I like about the ambassador program is being able to make friends in person,” said Tucker, who believes his experience in leadership roles in high school was a key factor in being picked as an ambassador. “It was weird not being able to make new friends at a new school during Covid. The networking (as an ambassador) has helped.”

Over the past year or so, Tucker has logged a lot of time leading tours of the Jamestown campus, helping with campus celebrations, and academic ceremonies. He also made friends as an ambassador, and he made a few career-related contacts. He sees the program’s value for personal and professional growth.

All the while, Tucker is making good grades in his unique choice of majors and still finds time to work on game storylines and characters.

While he hasn’t decided about his future beyond GTCC, he’s sure that good options lie ahead.

“I’ve shown friends what I’ve written. I have a very close friend, who isn’t a professional writer, but is an established writer. I’ve shown stuff I write to her, and she has definitely given me criticism, but at the same time some praise.”

And that’s enough to keep Tucker charging ahead.

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