April 26, 2011 | last updated March 25, 2012 10:02 am

Becker Launches Video Game Institute

Seeking to strengthen Massachusetts' growing reputation as a video game design hub, Becker College and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray today announced the creation of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI).

The institute will be a partnership between the digital games industry, academia and the public sector aimed at fostering job growth and economic development in the video game industry, Gov. Deval Patrick's office said in a statement.

Joining Becker President Robert E. Johnson Tuesday, Murray noted that video games are a $2-billion industry in the Bay State that employ approximately 4,000 people.

Becker's digital game design program was recently ranked 10th in the nation by The Princeton Review and GamePro Media. Worcester Polytechnic Institute was also ranked in the top 10.

Nearly 20 colleges and universities in Massachusetts offer game design and development courses. There are also approximately 75 game design companies located here, according to the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.

Becker will open a facility for MassDiGI in the fall and will launch a working group to develop an integration lab where industry and academia can test new game technologies. They will also explore a "reverse sabbatical" program under which designers in the game industry can come collaborate with students and faculty.

The institute will receive a $15,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative toward those efforts.

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