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Cal lawmaker proposes colleges offer video-game design

February 12, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • This undated publicity photo released by Epic Games/Microsoft shows a scene from the video game "Gears of War: Judgment."
This undated publicity photo released by Epic Games/Microsoft shows a… (Associated Press )

No doubt thousands of college kids in California play video games when they are not in school, and now one state lawmaker is proposing to bring the expertise they are gaining into the classroom.

Assemblywoman Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) has introduced legislation that  could someday have California universities offer a degree in creating and designing video games.

"Video game design is a growing industry that is in need of a highly skilled workforce," Waldron said Monday. "These are well-paid jobs for a young generation that is struggling for economic opportunities. We should work with the entertainment industry to make California a leader in this rapidly growing field."

AB 255 would create the digital arts pilot program in the California State University and California Community College systems. Waldron hopes to work with the gaming industry to tailor the program to their need for skilled workers.

California has not always been on friendly terms with the video gaming industry. In 2005, the Legislature passed a law imposing a $1,000 fine on those who sold or rented video games to minors that featured "killing, maiming, dismembering or sexual assaulting" of a human image and appealed to "deviant or morbid interest."

However, the gaming industry sued and the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law in 2011, ruling it violated free speech rights.

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 patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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