Worcester, Massachusetts is a burgeoning videogame hub, anchored by Becker College, which was rated by the Princeton Review as having the fourth best videogame design program in the United States.
To maintain the area’s growth, and to spur future expansion of the industry, a local councilor is pushing for the area around the college to be developed as an incubator for the interactive entertainment industry.
Councilor-at-Large Frederick Rushton, as reported in the Telegram, hopes that such an initiative would help establish the city as a “Vollywood of Gaming.” While the councilor’s unfortunate nickname might not catch on, the city council has already voted unanimously to push Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien into colluding with Verizon to create 4G spots in the area of the city that could eventually be ground zero for the incubator program.
Update: The Mass High Tech website also details a videogame forum held last week at Becker College, which included politicians like Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray along with State Representatives Brian Dempsey of Haverhill and Vincent Pedone of Worcester. The event was designed to foster discussion on how the state could help grow the interactive entertainment sector.
A previous visit to the school by House Speaker Robert DeLeo reportedly left the politician so impressed that he stated that “support for the sector needs to get into the next budget cycle.”
Jon Radoff, CEO of the Massachusetts-based game development firm Disruptor Beam, said that, “The videogame industry here has succeeded despite the state.” He added, “There aren’t a lot of things about Massachusetts that are attractive to game companies.”