IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

New York Puts $2M into CUNY's Video Game Design Program

Roughly 1,000 students could earn bachelor’s degrees in gaming design over the next three years at the City University of New York, in coordination with tech company Urban Arts and the Harlem Gallery of Sciences.

video game design
(TNS) — Mayor Adams is getting his head in the game.

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

Speaking in a ballroom on CUNY’s Harlem campus, Adams said the municipal government will for starters pump $2 million into the program, opening the door for roughly 1,000 students to earn bachelor’s degrees in gaming design over the next three years, with classes starting this fall.

“Gaming is the great equalizer, and anyone and everyone can play in one way or the other,” Adams said.

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

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

“When it comes to gaming development, we are outside the top five. We want to become number one within 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, made the case that the new gaming degree will complement other existing programs in the university system.

“If you play those games — I don’t, but I know my kids in the basement do — the music is really important, right?” he said. “So there’s room also for the talent of our musicians to be part of it. The people who are producing music do that. So there’s a whole gamut of industries, of talent that we know we have here at CUNY that can be tapping into this industry.”

In addition to the bachelor’s degree program, Adams announced the formation of a new Game Development Industry Council that will be made up of professionals in the sector who will advise the mayor on how to help it grow in the city.

Before delivering his remarks, Adams checked out some games that were on display by local developers.

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

“You just play games,” Applebaum said.

With a chuckle, Adams replied: “I’m doing that already as mayor.”

©2022 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.