The folks at Global Gaming League have compiled a very impressive list of the top 10 colleges that excel at gaming. They actually did a survey of students at many universities, so this is a real and factual list. We're not talking about universities that teach gaming, rather ones with strong gaming culture among students with gaming clubs, frequent LAN tournaments, a fast campus Internet connection and other factors that embrace such tech trends.
But a growing number of students are choosing colleges based on their compatibility with video gaming. Super hi-speed connections and dedicated servers, big-screen TVs in lounges, gaming-related classes, social events centering around LAN parties and perks like free download licensing are increasingly part of the lure of certain schools.
That video gaming is now a consideration should not be surprising. These students grew up on video games and grew accustomed to a large part of their entertainment being delivered by multiplayer games instead of television, movies, books or other media They are an elusive, fickle and important demographic in today's advertising markets, and choosey gamers are now an established subculture on U.S. campuses.
You can read the full list of details at GGL but here are the top 10.
- University of Texas - Austin, Texas
- Penn State University - State College, Pennsylvania
- Rochester Institute of Technology - Rochester, New York
- University of California at Los Angeles - Los Angeles, California
- Digipen Institute of Technology - Redmond, Washington
- University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
- Georgia Institute Of Technology - Atlanta, Georgia
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus - Minneapolis, Minnesota
- University of Michigan, Dearborn Campus - Dearborn, Michigan
- Full Sail Real World Education - Orlando, Florida
It's no surprise that UT at Austin is on the list. Many of my friends from Houston attend UT and I know first hand what the gamer community is like there. With over 50,000 students, it's impossible to avoid having a strong gaming environment. I was also pleased with the fact that Georgia Tech made it on the list. At the beginning of every year they hold a LAN party in the library for the freshmen. Many students at Georgia Tech are gamers as well, even the frat guys and sports jocks.
If that wasn't enough to convince you that Tech is a top ten gaming school, consider its blazing Internet connection. Tech's connection is so good that another local university piggybacks off its backbone. The reality is that the only thing keeping Tech out of the top five is its poor geographical location. The Atlanta gaming scene is fairly barren.
As far as a design curriculum, Tech has signed on as part of Microsoft's new XNA development scheme, a new set of tools provided by the software giant to facilitate game design for its console and PC platforms. Tech will begin incorporating some of the development tools for the Xbox 360 into its classes this fall, but it did not have a very well-established game development program prior to this year.
Hat tip to my friend Colin Lowenberg at UT for the link.