Powering Up

BY CHRIS WILSON // NOV. 27, 2012 //

The Communication Department introduced a new concentration this semester. Although still in development, video game studies has already attracted a number of students.

The communication department has introduced a new video games studies concentration. // COURTESY PHOTO //

Professor Robert MacDougall, the coordinator of the concentration, said current students have been requesting a video game major in recent years. Moreover, many video game companies are headquartered in New England; in all, it’s a $16 billion industry in the United States, according to the research firm NPD Group.

MacDougall said the college doesn’t have a goal for the number of students it wants in the concentration, but hopes it will serve as a real draw for prospective students. Some courses will be offered through the Communication Department, while others will be through Applied Technology.

Curry first offered a course in video gaming during the fall 2011 semester. Based on video game theory and research, the course enabled students to become familiar with the history and status, or “state-of-the-art,” of the video game industry. A second course, which is running this fall, is titled Video Games: A Cultural History. MacDougall, who teaches both classes, said the plan is to use these two as introductory courses, with students moving on to technology-based courses that the college already offers. These include Digital Video Editing and Digital Audio Production.

David Gebhardt, a sophomore politics and history major in the Cultural History course, doesn’t intend to work in the industry, instead wanting a career in international affairs. Nonetheless, “I do love learning about video games and what they inspired,” he said.

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