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Massachusetts Getting Serious About Video Games

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) – So if you want your child to grow up to be a video game designer, Massachusetts could be the place. Soon there will be a “Video Game Institute” in the central part of the state.

Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says it is all part of a larger effort to attract that industry to the Baystate.

Students are playing video games for hours on end at Becker College in Worcester these days. The difference is they have to.

Video Game Design is their major. And homework is creating games like “Oloff and the soul splitters.”
Sophomore Breeze Grigas says “it is a two player game where two people control two submarines and they shoot at mutant fish in space!”

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports.

While it sounds like fun, Becker College is the middle of something very serious.

In April, the school will become home to the Massachusetts Video Game Institute.

Dr. Robert Johnson is the President of Becker College.

“We are really talking about the video game industry being the next IT. We are talking about inter-active media which is not just about video games.”

Right now there are 128 students enrolled in video game design at Becker College but with this new designation “Mass Video Game Institute”… they expect that number to more than triple.

The idea for the institute is part of major push by the Patrick Administration.

Lt. Governor Tim Murray says “it is equally important to build incubator space. A lot of these young people have their own ideas and thoughts. So part of what this institute is going to do is to work with them on business development, how to create a small businesses, access to capital and much more.”

Representative Vincent Pedone of Worcester is now backing legislation which would hand out lucrative tax credits to companies which create local jobs.

“We have to give an industry an incentive to come here and grow and that is what this is.”

Students say when they graduate, they hope this new institute will make it easier to find a job right here.

Representative Pedone says the tax credits would be targeted at the video game industry as a whole and not just a particular company like in the case of Evergreen Solar.

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