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LiquidSmok3

How important

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For graphics programming, you should be familiar with lineair algebra, vectors, matrices, and quaternions and also cos, sin, tan, cot,...

For the physics part, well, I can't help you with that. Ofcourse you could always use a free physics engine. :)

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For someone working on graphics, physics, AI, and to an ever increasing degree sound/audio, math is pretty damned important. Don't expect to excel in these job areas if you aren't good at math and geometry.

But, there are other jobs where math is less important. Testing, marketing and sales, production (project management), business/legal, creating music for games, creating art content (though you can't be a total math dummy if you want to do 3D modeling and animation). To do design you need to have some variation of math skills, and in any case don't expect to jump into the industry as a designer.

You might want to review the following presentation by Jeff Lander, which is helpful.

Jeff Lander's talk to Harry S Truman Middle School

There is also an MP3 audio version of the talk that is probably a good supplement to the slides:

MP3 Version

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For all of engineering (and I count games as engineering) the more math you know, the more versatile you are and the more effective you can solve problems. Many modern games use very advanced, abstract math in suprising ways.

That said, you don't strictly need a lot of math to work in games. It just means your skill area is a little different - people who can do the math do the jobs that require math, those who aren't as good at math do the jobs that match their skill set better (which may be the things the math people aren't good at)

But you'll need to know and use basic math, wherever you go probably.

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