I don't believe that schools that purport to teach "game-specific programming" really give you an advantage over high quality, general programming schools. Every programmer needs to write good code, and what makes good code is pretty universal. People who want to write games need to learn about things like vector math, and frankly math in general to some extent, but that is also something that you would get at any general-purpose university.
There are lots of articles by gaming industry professionals on what kind of skill sets they're looking for, and I would imagine that school names come up from time to time.
IMHO somebody who gets too hung up about learning one particular language is kind of missing the point of understanding the general abstract principles. If you understand the general concepts over a wide array of general paradigms, a given language is (almost always) just syntax on top of the concepts. A good software engineer should be able to learn a whole new language within a matter of days for the basics, and within weeks to get up to speed on language-specific issues.
The 'science' in "computer science" is understanding the theory of the field, for instance algorithmic properties, theory of computation, probability, and so forth. I'm not sure exactly what the difference would be between computer programming and computer science taught at the same school – my university only offered computer science – but my best guess is that the programming-not-science part would focus less on understanding the ideas behind all this stuff and more on just writing code. IMHO doing computer science subsumes computer programming, but of course what you should do depends a great deal on what exactly you want to get out of it.
That said, what you meant by "to actually become a coder, in MUD terms" is unclear to me. Many MUD coders have formal education in neither computer science nor programming. That doesn't mean they can't write MUD code, of course.
03 May, 2009, quixadhal wrote in the 24th comment:
My school had two variations on Computer Science. The applied version exposed students to a broader range of languages and had more hands-on projects. The theory version had more of the math behind things, proofs, and was generally considered a bit harder. It was also assumed that you were taking the theory version if you wanted to go on the get your master.
In both cases though, there was a solid enough set of theory to make sure that people who got to the end realized things like bubble-sort is bad, O(n) vs. O(log n) really does matter, and optimizing something isn't an excuse for missing a deadline.
As with most things in life, knowing WHY something works is always helpful, and will serve you better than just knowing HOW it works.
After getting my degree in Graphic Communications, I now make my living programming for print/pre-press shops. At the same time, I know CS grads that I still can't believe actually got their degree, let alone a job :)
So to actually become a Coder, in MUD terms, you can major in Computer Programming and minor in Computer science, or viceversa?
I know you can also become a computer programmer by majoring in Chemistry and Philosophy. ;-)