It was with great sadness that I was informed that Ashok Ranchhod had passed away on January the 3rd 2019. I didn’t know Ashok outside of work but he was a kind, funny and interesting person. Ashok had been at the School of Art since 2011.
Ashok was really an unsung hero of the BA (Hons) Games Design & Art programme.
Ashok was a staff member that was always present at our events and was always up for providing feedback on student projects, he loved to get involved and played all the games we showcased over the last few years.
Ashok was a regular contributor to the programme since its inception giving specialist talks around gamification and the history of games along with popping by the studios to discuss student projects. Ashok was also very involved in the PhD work of two of the current staff team within Games alongside a lot of work he did in relation to the Games Design Hub and Serious Gaming Hub which connected the staff team and students to different projects in computer science, healthcare and more.
However what would not be obvious is that if it wasn’t for Ashok the BA (Hons) Games Design & Art programme would not be here today. The original team that worked on creating the programme in 2013 included Ashok, Gary Wills, James Stallwood and a number of industry advisors, the industry advisors where all contacts via Ashok. My main role was to work out what a current games programme would need from all these inputs and to pull together the programme documentation and design the curriculum. It was Ashok that represented the new programme at the validation panels and supported connections within Computer Science and without his action at these panels, the programme may never have been given the green light.
Ashok’s connections within the Games industry, Serious Gaming and Gamification gave gravitas to the programme documentation. The initial membership with TIGA and a number of the guests within the programme come from Ashok’s connections specifically in the first year he organised guests that included Rod Cousens.
I am aware that Ashok has spoken highly of the programme both internally and externally and that numerous contacts we now have would not have been without Ashok. I suspect many opportunities for the programme have come from the work Ashok did on our behalf, both directly and indirectly. If it was not for Ashok’s support and help I would not be leading a successful Games Design & Art programme, I love my work and the programme we run here so for this I am eternally grateful.
For the revalidation of the programme in 2017/18 Ashok wrote for us a brand new module The Business of Games, something the programme really needed, the module will run in the 2019/20 Academic year. I can’t believe he will not be here to deliver it. Ashok will be missed in more ways that he may have known.
This year we lost one of the GDA Family.
You can donate towards cancer research in Ashok’s name and read more about his life here
- Image of Ashok Ranchhod
- Image of Ashok user testing board games in 2017
- Image of Ashok in the Games Studio with students 2018