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IU designs new degrees for 21st century

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Hoosiers could become more influential in the multi-billion dollar world of video gaming.

Indiana University’s Board of Trustees approved a new undergraduate degree in “game design.” The university says the degree combines the age-old art of storytelling with state-of- the-art animation technology. That program, media history, management and ethics, could all begin this fall. The courses still need approval from the Indiana Commission on Higher Education.

The Media School at I.U. came from a merger of the School of Journalism, the Department of Telecommunications and Department of Communication and Culture.

In a release from the university, James Shanahan, the incoming dean of the Media School, says these programs “leverage our intellectual resources in ways that will greatly multiply opportunities and educational paths for our students.”

The announcement follows a year of growth in the video game industry. In January, CNBC reported $13.1 billion in sales of video game hardware and software in 2014. The report is based on a survey by NPD Group that the network said is “the first time the industry has seen an overall sales increase since 2008.”

Mobile gaming also grew, last year. CNET provided a study reporting a gain in the time spent playing games on smartphones or tablets. It “increased 57 percent to over two hours per day in 2014 versus one hour and 20 minutes in 2012.”

The January report from CNET, also done by NPD Group, found only one in five players are “mobile-only gamers.” But, “mobile devices have the greatest amount of play time.”