Serious Fun: New Alliance Will Promote Video Game Higher Education
A new group of higher education leaders formed last week to help demonstrate the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of college and university video game programs.
Who says video games are just for fun? Not the members of a new industry group that launched last week to promote the value of video game programs in colleges and universities.
Open to faculty, game design program directors, department heads, and other campus leaders, the new Higher Education Video Game Alliance will demonstrate the cultural, scientific, and economic value of such programs and how they help prepare students to enter the 21st-century workforce.
“The Alliance will afford its members, including professors and other campus leadership, an opportunity to share and highlight best practices, publish research, initiate and strengthen industry connections, and educate and engage policymakers and the media,” the group said in a statement.
Roughly 400 colleges, universities, and trade schools currently offer video game design programs, according to the Alliance. The group will initially be supported by the Entertainment Software Association, which represents U.S. video game publishers.
With ESA’s help, the Alliance will work to:
- improve Bureau of Labor Statistics information regarding the video game industry
- provide awards for innovations coming from member labs
- promote stronger bonds between higher education and the game industry via internships and trend reports
- host events and conferences in Washington, DC, to help educate policy makers.
“Game development programs are growing the next generation of America’s STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] leaders: providing excellent career training, serving as incubators for game design and technology innovation, and advancing state-of-the-art game research,” Mark DeLoura, senior advisor for digital media at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in a statement announcing the new group. “Efforts to increase the connections between educators and professional game developers will help to further strengthen American competitiveness by enhancing the collective power of these programs.”