Jennifer Hinton discussed the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity Wednesday during our Why ROC conversation on News 8 at Sunrise.

RIT’s Center for MAGIC was named one of three Digital Gaming Hubs in New York by Empire State Development.  With the recognition comes $150,000 a year for the next three years.

Hinton, who is the Assistant Director of RIT’s Center for MAGIC, said the award reflects the fact that RIT has one of the oldest and largest programs in game design and development.  The school is graduating approximately 150 students a year from the program, with the goal of keeping them here in the Rochester area to contribute to the local economy.

The RIT Center for MAGIC was founded in 2013 and has formed a connection with a trio of local companies, including two with close ties to the school, Darkwind Media – which was founded by three RIT graduates – and Workinman – which was founded by a former RIT professor.  Both of them rely heavily on RIT for employment.

Hinton said the gaming industry is growing.  Last year it generated $22 billion, more than Hollywood.  New York is one of 36 states employing professionals in the gaming industry.  Mobile applications are also growing with the rise of mobile devices.  Gaming is now in the palm of our hand, noted Hinton.

 The ESD funding will be used by the Digital Gaming Hub to increase its economic impact by fostering innovation and creating collaborative activities to spur new games and companies.

RIT consistently produces top-tier technical and design talent that fills the needs of companies like Disney, Nickelodeon, Activision, Electronic Arts and Microsoft.

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