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US schools offer record number of video game-related courses

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A record breaking number of video game-related courses and degrees are being offered by U.S. colleges and universities, according to a report from the Entertainment Software Association.

According to the report, 385 U.S. colleges and universities currently offer game design courses or degrees. Of that figure, 226 offer bachelor's degrees, 55 of the educational institutions feature associate's degrees and 46 offer master's degrees. Four institutions offer Ph.D.'s: University of California in Santa Cruz, DePaul University in Chicago, Northeastern University in Boston and Adelphi University in Garden City.

"Video games are the fastest growing, most dynamic form of entertainment in the word today," president and CEO of ESA, Michael D. Gallagher said in a prepared statement. "These students are preparing to join an industry that creates interactive software, innovative hardware, and ecosystems that spawn new business models and online communities, transforming consumer experiences, spurring technological advancements, and impacting important areas including education, healthcare, and business."

California tops the nation with 72 schools offering video-game courses, followed by New York with 26, Texas at 24, Florida, 23, Illinois, 23, Pennsylvania, 19, Minnesota, 17 and Massachusetts, 14. Washington and Wisconsin both have 11 schools offering game development courses. The full list of schools and their respective courses is located on the ESA's website.

"Computer and video game design programs represent the most transformational areas of study in higher education today," said Dr. Scott Martin, founding director of the Computer and Game Design Program at George Mason University. "Students study both the sciences and the arts, all in a revolving-role team-based, project-based new pedagogical environment that is revolutionizing curricula to better prepare our students for the workforce of today and tomorrow."