Sonic Brilliance: 9 Questions with Elijah Parent, BSGDD '25

March 26, 2024


Elijah Parent

I am especially interested in sound design for games. I have recorded and processed music as a hobby for a few years, and audio in general is something that I find fascinating—the reason that I am minoring in music. Game sound sits at the intersection of these two interests.

Elijah Parent, who lived in Nashua, New Hampshire early in his life before traveling extensively and eventually moving to Tucson, will graduate from the Bachelor of Science in Game Design and Development with minors in music and computer science in May 2025. In this profile, he discusses his passion for sound design in games, the need to find the right community when first joining college, the success of the UArizona Esports program and more.

What brought you to the University of Arizona to study game design and development?

I originally considered sound technology programs at various colleges, but always with the idea of working in the games industry one day. I was already living in Tucson when I learned about the new BS in Game Design and Development at the University of Arizona. This allowed me to pursue a career working on media that I am passionate about, without needing to relocate.

What area of game design and development are you most interested in?

Within game development, I am especially interested in sound design for games. I have recorded and processed music as a hobby for a few years, and audio in general is something that I find fascinating—the reason that I am minoring in music. Game sound sits at the intersection of these two interests. Creating audio that aligns with and adapts to interactive media is a unique but rewarding challenge. The value that effective audio provides to the gameplay experience is often understated. I am particularly interested in game audio that leans into the interactivity of the medium—shifting based on game states and interactions—as that is what sets games apart from other mediums.

Video Game Music by Elijah Parent

Elijah's Favorite Video Game Audio Tracks:

More Music by Elijah:

What do you like best about the Bachelor's in Game Design and Development?

I like how hands-on most of the classes are in their assignments. For example, most of ISTA 451: Game Development was spent creating two playable game prototypes that we presented at the iShowcase. This allowed our group to experience various roles in game development, learning about the course content by actively completing work in each role. In my experience, this type of work is common across my degree program. It is especially important because of how portfolio-driven the game industry is as a whole—finished projects and the knowledge to create independent work are key to success.

What has been your biggest challenge at UArizona, and how have you overcome that challenge?

My biggest struggle when first starting at the University of Arizona was meeting people and establishing a friend group. This is a relatively common experience, but finding a group to connect with is important for settling into college. What helped me was finding those with similar interests in my classes and through student clubs. Starting from a point of shared interest made it easier to find people who I enjoy interacting with, helping me develop my social network on campus.

Killer Automata

Students Elijah Parent, Ben Seckeler, Michael Cockrell, Luke Genova and Huy Tran created the game Killer Automata as a class project.

Tell us about your experience in the UArizona Esports program.

I have been on the varsity team for the game Rocket League within the University of Arizona Esports program since the fall semester of 2022. Practicing with my team, competing and engaging with the community has been a great experience that I feel very lucky to have been a part of. Though there is uncertainty around the program’s future, I’m proud of all that we have accomplished in our short time as a program, and I believe that we proved that an esports program can find a successful place here in the future. We qualified for CECC Finals in Arlington, Texas—a major tournament—later this semester, so we are going to finish strong.

What does the iSchool experience mean for you?

The iSchool encompasses several areas of study that I feel are incredibly important right now. It allows students to learn about contemporary issues and fields that are relevant to today’s world in a way that is flexible and accommodating.

Tell us about your work experience and career aspirations.

I want to work in game audio one day—specifically in dynamic audio design and implementation. I find both game design and sound design interesting, and the combination of the two is fascinating. However, I am also open to other roles surrounding game creation. Currently, I do part-time work editing for major textbook publishers as a contractor. While not my long-term career goal, I appreciate the process and the attention to detail that is required in editing.

What are your passions outside of school?

Elijah Parent plays bass guitar

Elijah plays bass guitar, his main instrument.

Given that I am a Game Design and Development student, I obviously enjoy playing a wide variety of video games. I also enjoy creating music, working out, and participating in intramural sports with my friends. I am also someone who goes down a lot of rabbit holes learning specific new things. For example, I used to competitively speed-solve Rubik’s cubes and still try to do some fast solves sometimes.

What advice do you have for prospective iSchool students?

Make sure that you are doing something that you are passionate about, or that you can at least apply to a topic that you are interested in. Completing work is so much less difficult when you are interested in the topic itself, as opposed to just going through the motions. Regardless of what you choose to pursue, try to make it something that you find fulfilling.

Explore the Bachelor of Science in Game Design and Development or support iSchool students through scholarships and other important programs.