When Tatum Hobby arrived at Rensselaer from her hometown of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, she knew she wanted to pursue art in a technical environment. “I’m primarily a digital artist, and RPI allowed me to develop more skills in 3D modeling and animation, as well as apply this to video games,” she said.
Hobby became involved with RPI TV, the student-run television station, her freshman year. The club provides TV production and web streaming services for campus organizations, as well as films events around campus, such as sporting events, news programs, cultural performances, and the GM Week debates. She worked behind the camera recording football and hockey games, which, she said, expanded her technical knowledge.
She said she “stumbled upon” the club at an activities fair and ended up going to a football game they were live-streaming that weekend. It was so much fun that she decided to stick with the club, eventually becoming the president. Holding a leadership position helped her learn valuable social and management skills, while making many new friends. She said she also met faculty members whose paths she might not have otherwise crossed, and she had the opportunity to work closely with the Student Union administration and the Athletics department. “RPI TV started as a fun way to spend my spare time, but quickly grew into a volunteer opportunity that taught me much more than I was expecting,” she explained.
During Hobby’s junior year, she and her team were tasked with creating a game for their Game Development II class. Not only was she able to work with “some of the most talented people” she has ever met, she said that their presentation went off perfectly. “When my team got up to present, we opened our game on the projector and a huge rush of serotonin overcame us as we listened to the entire auditorium gasp in awe at what we presented,” she said. The team was awarded “artistic excellence” at GameFest for their work.
Her experience with GameFest reinforced the fact that she is in the right major. “If I hadn’t come to RPI, I may have never got into making art for games and found this hidden passion,” she said. “With enough determination and perseverance, not even a pandemic that is affecting all the factors around me can stop me from pursuing my passions.”
After receiving her degree in electronic arts and games and simulation arts and sciences, Hobby will be heading back to Massachusetts to work with 3D modeling software to help create orthodontic appliances.