Mass. college to create game incubation center

U.S. government awards $1.4 million grant to Becker College and Massachusetts Digital Games Institute to help create New Ventures Center at Worcester school.

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Becker College and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) announced this week that they have received $1.4 million from the United States Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to help with the formation of the new MassDiGI New Ventures Center.

Becker College will match the EDA grant to create the $2.8 million center. It will function as an on-campus business assistance center for interactive media, game development, and technology-centric business undergraduate and graduate students.

The New Ventures Center is expected to create 430 jobs over a ten-year period.

"As the home of both MassDiGI and a nationally recognized video game development program, Becker College is perfectly positioned to help grow one of the most dynamic pillars of the Massachusetts innovation economy: the interactive entertainment industry," Becker College president and chair of the MassDiGI advisory board Robert E. Johnson said.

"The jobs created by the work of this center will be highly skilled and well-paid. They will build the talent pool in Massachusetts by providing opportunity for graduates from Becker and other institutions of higher learning across the state," he added.

To create the New Ventures Center, the school will renovate the 80 William Street location while retaining its "historical character." The center will offer meeting spaces, computer labs, and other facilities for research, design, and incubation of new projects.

For more on Becker College's game design program, one of the best in the nation according to the Prinecton Review, check out the school's website.

Discussion

34 comments
pidow
pidow

Does this mean that they will stop the attack on gaming?????????? Or is this a ploy to infiltrate our ranks?  If genuine, that would be a good thing for all.

netter99
netter99

i was thinking about going there and then realized that getting a degree in game design would be pointless. I'm gonna go somewhere for computer science and maybe that will take me to the game industry that I have dreamed of working in since I was like 5 years old

spacekatgal
spacekatgal

Interesting. I hire a lot of game developers on the Boston scene, and I've run across many a resume from Becker. I'm not trying to diss Becker college, but it's my personal opinion that that the graduates are not prepared enough for a professional career in games, especially given the tuition costs. 

I hope that this program helps them educate a group of students more prepared to work in the industry. 

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

Awesome stuff now unto the my main concern when it comes to this as i have this problem with all videogame schools, i'd like to know what the tuition prices are looking like for classes!!

surjeet47
surjeet47

gamers is best in this world than hacker.......

Hurvl
Hurvl

I wonder what effect that will have. Will it lead to a Mass. Effect?

gplayer5
gplayer5

Now that's awesome. Any investment in education is a great thing. We need more skilled labor in the workforce. Too many jobs and Walmart and McDonalds. xD

obsequies
obsequies

I have that old mac. It's still pretty fast for an all in one from 2007, can play bioshock infinite better than than the consoles 

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

NOOOO!!! The money is going to train people to be mass murderers like the politicians say!! Dear god, WHY?!?!

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

But I thought video games caused violence? *sarcasm*

xMat7x
xMat7x

This is good. The Quebec government does a similar thing in Canada. Giving millions of dollars so game studios could hire the best talent. One of the reasons there are multiple triple AAA studios in Montreal. Glad to see this happening in other places.

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

It'll bolster some revenue, and its a good idea since the film industry is being exported out of the states little by little. Wish there where more jobs but this is a well advised step. I'm not just saying that because I'm a gamer, and I'm not a US citizen admittedly. Just seems better than lawsuits and repeated, expensive case studies.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

Wish we could get something like this in the north of England.

Too much focus is placed on London in this country. I don't actually know anyone who genuinely wants to live there. It's a shit-hole, but that's where all the job opportunities are.

Michformer
Michformer

Still doesn't beat having Brian Moriarty as your IMGD professor.

BieberBeliever
BieberBeliever

Good stuff. I wish that game development was a more socially acceptable career choice when I was growing up; it is probably where I would have been now if it were, or more schools made programs available. 

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

I think this is awesome. 

But on a funnier note, the U.S. Government which helped to create Game Incubation Center, is also funding studies about how destructive they may be to people... including young kids. Can you say hypocrite?

samgamgi
samgamgi

@netter99 Sorry, Computer Science is not going to make you into a game designer. It's like someone wanted to be a cook and studied nutrition. You may learn something useful for game designing because of all the programming you have to learn, but in the second half of the course, things are going to get very specific and almost none of it will have anything to do with videogames. 

Conker1985
Conker1985

@spacekatgal Seems to be a common trend for a lot of "game development" graduates.

I'm really tired of university after university adding half-assed programs geared towards animation and game development simply to meet demand. Most of them don't give a rats ass whether or not their students land jobs, so long as they make money off the tuition and continue to dupe new students.

I foolishly went through one of these programs starting 10 years ago, proceeded to rip the program apart after completion due to the complete lack of direction and focus, and laughed when they finally "combined" the curriculum with their programming major a few years ago.

Degrees mean almost nothing in the world of game development. It's all about your portfolio, where you live, and the people you know.

What irrittated me the most however, was how the school always pointed to the handful of success stories (like 2 or 3 graduates) who managed to snag jobs at studios like Blue Sky and Rhythm & Hughes. Never mind the thousands of students who COULDN'T get a job after graduating due to ill-prepared portfolios thanks in large part to the half-baked curriculum and requirements.

Heinpienaar123
Heinpienaar123

@VexxRed I have been zbrushing a while now :D Bought the original back in 2007. Just love how they keep it up to date for free.


Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

@Xx_DemonSoul_xX Maybe about a few congress people, but that's an over simplification of an extremely complex system.

spacekatgal
spacekatgal

@Conker1985 I think you're dead on. When I hire I look at portfolios, and I don't especially care where you went to school. 

The truth is, working in a videogame pipeline mostly requires things schools can't teach. Dedication, professionalism, networking. 

I think rather than spend a year at Becker, you'd be much better off spending a year in Boston living on the cheap, finding an indie team doing Unity and working your ass off. It's a much better indicator of if you'll actually be able to hack it. 

spacekatgal
spacekatgal

@Bingo675 @spacekatgal @samgamgi My advice to you would be to get on Digital Tutors, find a skill that interests you, and get good at something. Anything. Personally, I started with zBrush and Maya. 

Bingo675
Bingo675

@spacekatgal @Bingo675 @samgamgi Like I said, my degrees in Communications, video specifically, but I was hoping to find an internship in place of having to go back to school to "learn" game design. What kind of skill are you suggesting?

spacekatgal
spacekatgal

@Bingo675 @spacekatgal @samgamgi Is your specialty purely game design? I have to speak honestly - this is an extremely crowded field - especially with no experience. I'd strongly suggest adding some supplementary skill to get your way on a team. Because, if I'm hiring a game designer, industry experience is a must. 

Bingo675
Bingo675

@spacekatgal @samgamgi I just finished my program in Communications and have been trying to find an internship related to game design. It's tough. I've been going to as many indie meet-ups as I can, have been networking, and have been working on a project with a friend of mine which we're planning to have finished by the end of the year. Any pointers as to what I can do until then?

spacekatgal
spacekatgal

@samgamgi Pretty much. Get an internship, show some professionalism. Be able to work in a team. This stuff seems basic, but it's the qualities that many don't have. 

samgamgi
samgamgi

@spacekatgal @Conker1985 I'm graduating in Computer Science and I want to be a game programmer. 

From what I hear, if one wants to start in a career that involves creating games, the most important thing is to simply get your hands dirty with it. Grab a game engine to experiment on, see if you can create something with your ideas, send it to other people to comment on it, and so on. Create something that you can put on a portfolio, even if it's a small thing, just to show to a possible employer or team that you know what you want and have a knowledge of your own skills,