Research conducted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has found that a rapidly growing number of colleges and universities in the United States are offering courses and degrees in the field of video game development.
The ESA's study found that 254 universities in 37 states and the District of Columbia currently offer classes in game design, programming, and art. The number is up from last year's findings, which noted just over 200 colleges offering similar courses.
By the ESA's count, California is home to 46 colleges and universities that conduct classes relating to video game development -- more than any other state. New York hosts 21 such colleges, Texas has 20, and 19 universities offering game development courses are based in Florida.
Rich Taylor, ESA senior vice president for communication and industry affairs, describes the increase as a result of gaming's growing prominence in business and education, as well as in the entertainment industry.
"Today, video games are not only the fastest growing entertainment medium, they are also increasingly used in education and business for professional training and e-learning," said Taylor. "These new college programs underscore the importance of the video games industry, which is well-poised to create additional employment and professional opportunities in the coming years."