RIT hopes to grow game and design industry

Henrietta, N.Y. -- Matt DeNovio grew up playing with his father's Super Nintendo video games for fun.

He had planned to go to school to become a Veternarian, but then realized he could make a career in the video game design business.

He is already halfway there.

Matt and his fellow student, 22 year old Dustin Kochensparger, have sold the licensing rights to one of their video games, and are working on another game that explores alternative energy sources.

The RIT seniors haven't decided yet where to look for jobs, but hope recruiters will come looking for them. One of their classmates has already been hired by Microsoft.

Many of the 100 students who graduate from this program have to leave the state to find jobs. Many head to the West Coast where the video game and design business is booming. It is a 2.3 billion dollar industry in California, employing more than 50-thousand people.

State Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn said we need to focus on keeping some of this talent here and growing this business in New York.

He lead a roundtable discussion at RIT Tuesday on ways lawmakers, people in the entertainment industry and educators can work together to grow jobs and keep these graduates from leaving the area.

Golden said in the next year the state will begin offering more tax incentives to encourage these video design companies to start-up and grow their businesses here.

They will also rely on RIT and its students to design programs and market them and provide support to help these new businesses grow.

Students like Matt DeNovio and Dustin Kochensparger said they would stay in New York if the opportunity is right. They said money isn't the biggest concern, they want to be part of a community where they get support to help develop their programs and market them.

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