City University of New York (CUNY) has recently established a new bachelor’s program meant to build video game development within New York City (NYC): the Digital Game Design program. With the help of Eric Adams, NYC mayor, and office, Long Island University will be the first higher education school within NYC to offer a video game industry-related degree. The NYC mayor intends to help fund the bachelor’s program by providing the university with $2 million to allow college students a “public and affordable option” to pursue a career in the games industry.
The main reason why Adams wants to make education in video game development affordable is to build NYC as a video game company city. Surprisingly, NYC is sixth when measuring the amount of video game companies’ locations by the city in the United States. NYC and the fifth-place Chicago are near each other; however, both major cities pale in comparison to the top four cities in terms of the sheer number of video game companies. In descending order, San Fransisco, Austin, Los Angeles/Santa Monica, and Seattle/Bellevue represent the top four cities, with each city having at least double the number of companies compared to Chicago and NYC. Due to this dominance by the West Coast, Adams states he wishes to “diversify the gaming field” by boosting NYC’s presence as the next hub for video game development. Adams asserts:
New York City has always been the center of innovation, but it is time that New York City level up and finally become a leader in the digital gaming space…It’s time to take advantage of all the talent we have here in New York by investing in the future of gaming.
CUNY President, Vincent Boudreau, joined Adams’ sentiment with:
Young people in our communities, growing up in an environment where gaming and digital consumer skills are ubiquitous, are exquisitely prepared to make gaming a pathway to solid careers for themselves and supporting economic development for the city.