The Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) was founded in 1998, and admitted it’s first class of graduate students in the fall of 1999. The ETC is an interdisciplinary research center offering a Master of Entertainment Technology (MET) that is accredited by both Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and College of Fine Arts. In the spirit of the ETC’s interdisciplinary focus, the center had two co-directors; Randy Pausch, a CS professor (who later delivered his inspirational Last Lecture), and Don Marinelli, a Drama Professor.
The directors set ETC’s mission to combine art and technology at the core of an applied research, inquiry-focused education. The ETC has been committed to challenging students from a diversity of backgrounds to study and work together on applied design-based research projects, developing their skills as leaders in terms of assuming responsibility for their role on a team as well as in terms of doing innovative work and pushing the envelope in the ﬁeld.
To this day, the ETC looks to continue being one of the most inventive and impactful programs in the world. Randy Pausch liked to say that the ETC is the world’s best playground, with an electric fence. Or in other words, the ETC provides the contexts, processes and best practices for the design and development of creative experiences. Since our first class, we have graduated a substantial and successful group of over 900 alumni, that help illustrate the solid basis of the ETC’s curriculum, which balances educational goals, professional development, and engaging experiences, or learn, work and play.