5 of the Best Colleges for Gamers

A student's hand holding a game controller.

Flickr user Christopher

Finding a community of people who share your interests can make the difference between an average and an exceptional college experience. Those who have grown up with a passion for gaming whether it be playing, designing or developing games, consider themselves a part of a virtual community. If you identify as a gamer and want to turn your passion for gaming into a career, consider attending one of these colleges with great resources and game development programs. Not only will you receive a top-notch education, you will be able to gain hands-on experience, develop your creativity and become a member of a gaming community that goes beyond the virtual world of headsets and controllers.

Full Sail University

Full Sail University’s campus is located in Florida, but they also offer online courses. The three gaming degrees that undergraduates can earn are in game development, game design and game art. Game development involves making the game as realistic and lifelike as possible and challenging the gamer no matter how many times they play. Game design deals with the game’s story line as well as the challenge and reward system. The game art program allows students to develop skills in digitized and simulated motion, shooting and animation to name a few.

Academy of Art University—San Francisco

Graduates from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco work at companies such as EA, Marvel and Riot Games. Those who graduate with a degree in game development may build careers as game designers, programmers, concept artists and 3D modelers. The Academy of Art encourages and fosters opportunities to collaborate with fellow gamers and creatives to develop state of the art video games. Classes are instructed by art and design experts with experience of being involved in the industry.

University of Texas—Austin

Home to the Texas eSports Association, a network of collegiate gamers with over 30 chapters, UT Austin is a heavy hitter in the gaming industry. They have hosted an event called LANstorm, inviting over 130 gamers to compete against each other. Students can also get involved on campus through organizations including Pokémon Club, the Doujin Club and the Electronic Game Developers Society. Its GAMMA or Game and Mobile Media Applications Program, combines three departments including computer science, fine arts and radio-television-film to make for an multi-faceted game development program.

Hampshire College

Hampshire College is a small private school, with great resources for avid gamers whether they are students, faculty or staff members. There is a game lab where one can rent out Xbox and PlayStation games as well as kick back with some old school hardware and test out new gaming systems and technology. It is also home to the Hampshire College Cluster Computing Facility which allows faculty and students to practice evolutionary computation research, physical and biological simulations and 3D rendering.

New York University

NYU’s Department of Game Design at the Tisch School of the Arts offers students a wide variety of opportunities including gaming events, access to industry professionals and the Game Center Open Library which has one of the most comprehensive digital game collections in the world. Not only do courses educate students on how to design and develop games, but the program goes further to explore the scholarship of games and why they matter in our society. Students who believe that their project has the potential for success can apply to the NYU Game Center Incubator to tap into funding and other resources to help get their game into the commercial market.

Interested in any of these colleges? Use College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!

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