New York invests $2 million in CUNY’s video game design program

(TNS) – Mayor Adams is getting his head in the game.

Hizzoner on Monday unveiled a new bachelor’s degree program in video game design at the City University of New York as part of a self-proclaimed quest to make the Big Apple a “global center of innovation.”

Speaking at a ballroom on the CUNY campus in Harlem, Adams said the city government would initially pump $2 million into the program, opening the door for about 1,000 students to earn a bachelor’s degree in game design. over the next three years, with classes beginning this fall.

“The game is the great equalizer, and everyone can play it somehow,” Adams said.

The bachelor’s degree program will offer courses developed in coordination with tech company Urban Arts and the Harlem Gallery of Sciences, with the stated goal of “increasing diversity and equity in digital gaming,” according to the mayor’s office. .

Adams, who as mayor has been a major driver of new business sectors including cryptocurrencies, said he believes the higher education program will help boost the local economy by attracting more game development companies in the city.

“When it comes to game development, we’re not in the top five. We want to be number one in the next few years,” he said, noting that the gaming industry already supports 7,600 jobs and $2 billion in annual economic output in the city.

CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez, who joined Adams for Monday’s announcement, argued that the new gaming degree will complement other existing programs in the university system.

“If you play these games – I don’t, but I know my kids in the basement do – music is really important, right?” he said. “So there is also room for the talent of our musicians to be part of it. People who produce music do that. So there’s a whole range of industries, of talent that we know we have here at CUNY that can tap into that industry.

In addition to the licensing program, Adams announced the formation of a new Game Development Industry Council which will be made up of industry professionals who will advise the mayor on how to help him grow in the city.

Before delivering his remarks, Adams checked out some games featured by local developers.

Speaking to Sarah Applebaum, the developer of a game called “Street Shuffle,” Adams asked, “How do you become a gamer? »

“You’re just playing games,” Applebaum said.

With a chuckle, Adams replied, “I already do as mayor.”

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