U.S.News Calls Becker College A Destination For Game Designers
For the second year in a row, U.S.News and World Report called Becker College “a popular destination for prospective game designers,” in an article that appeared on USNews.com: “Discover 9 New College Majors With a Future.”
Development of digital games majors, and enrollment in those programs, have been on the upswing since 2005, when Becker initiated its Interactive Entertainment major, with concentrations in computer game design and computer game programming and development. Applications to the major rose 200% in just the last year. In response, Becker added two faculty members to the program, and an online certificate in game design, aimed at adults seeking to add to their professional portfolios or make a career change.
Aspiring game developers and industry leaders alike are taking notice of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), housed at Becker College. MassDiGI recently drew Gordon Bellamy, executive director of International Game Developers Association (IGDA), and Michael Levine, PhD, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, to participate in the panel, “Changing the Game: How Digital Games are Changing Entertainment and Education.”
At the same time, MassDiGI announced a $30,000 award from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to fund a virtual “Rapid Integration Lab,” which will allow industry and academia to tap into each others’ resources to test and demonstrate “next generation game technologies,” and a “Reverse Sabbatical” program in which game industry professionals would come to Massachusetts schools to help in the development of new game technologies.
“These initiatives help to create competitive advantages for students and companies. The designation of MassDiGI at Becker, and the funding from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, signals recognition of our academic excellence,” said Becker President Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
“We are continuing to lead the nation and set the standard,” said Paul D. Cotnoir, Ph.D., chair, Bachelor of Arts in Design. “With Becker College in Princeton Review‘s top ten game design schools in the nation, Worcester, Mass. has clearly emerged as a powerhouse in interactive entertainment education.”
Internships involve video game development students in the community and give them valuable portfolio experience. Becker student-created games teaching school bus safety, and history, are in use by the UMass Medical School-City of Worcester Mobile Safety Street Bus, Old Sturbridge Village and the Danforth Museum, with similar projects in the works for the Worcester Historical Museum and the Why Not Stop Project.
Alumni of the video game programs at Becker have gone on to work for numerous entertainment companies such as Harmonix, Blizzard and Blue Fang Games, as well as in other digital technology applications for John Hancock, the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Army.