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Massachussets Lt.. Gov. Supporting New Video Game Institute At Becker College

A new Massachusetts Video Game Institute will be established at the state's Becker College next fall, according to comments by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray.
Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray has announced the state's Becker College will host a new Massachusetts Video Game Institute, to be established at the college next fall. Though details about the Institute's implementation and purview still have to be crafted, the establishment would make Becker the center of the state's public, private and academic interests in the video game industry, Murray said, as reported by The Worcester Telegraph. While Becker's hosting of the Institute doesn't come with state funding, it is likely to draw attention and private investment to the small Worcester school, which was recently named as having the fourth best Game Design program in the country by The Princeton Review. The Institute is the result of a working plan developed in October by state politicians and industry representatives intent on raising Massachusetts' standing as a game development hub, much as the state has already done for the biotech industry. The Massachusetts game development industry currently represents $2 billion in annual revenue. “We think there's a unique opportunity right now to begin work on this comprehensive statewide plan,” Murray told the Telegram. The working plan also calls for three separate interactive media design and development innovation centers across the state and a 35 percent transferable tax credit for game developers. Similar tax breaks are already available in states including Michigan, Louisiana, Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida, and North Carolina, and the Candian province of Ontario. The Institute announcement came as State Rep. Vincent A. Pedone, who represents Worcester, said he would put forward a bill giving game developers free or reduced-rent access to state-owned office buildings as well as providing loan guarantees for the industry. Such a loan guarantee was instrumental in luring Curt Schilling's 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island earlier this year. Pedone said he would also consider granting tax credits to game developers in the state. “Any bill that is going to bring jobs should be looked at,” Pedone told the Telegraph. “If it's tax credits that'll do it, it's tax credits we should be looking at.” But Lt. Gov. Murray warned "I don't think [tax credits are] anything you're going to see in this budget.”

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