Thankfully, gamers have come a long way from getting beat up on the blacktop for playing Yu-Gi-Oh and trading Pokémon. Now that schools across the U.S. are sponsoring varsity eSports teams, skipping your history homework to finish Dying Light seems like a perfectly legitimate excuse. Plus, since eSports isn’t yet regulated by the NAIA or the NCAA, no one’s stopping college gamers from getting paid to compete. Who cares what your parents think—there’s just so much incentive.
If you love gaming more than life itself, you don’t have to give it up for an education. Button-mash your way to a degree at these 10 colleges with the best game design programs, the coolest hardware and the most competitive gaming teams.
4. University of Southern California
USC takes gaming seriously—there’s just no question about it. If the fact that Princeton Review ranked their game design major as the nation’s best three years in a row sounds impressive, you should also know that Riot, the company that created and runs League of Legends, was actually founded by USC alumni. Let’s not forget they offer game design as a minor too, alongside game animation, game audio and even game entrepreneurism. The USC eSports team crushes in Starcraft ll, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike, but also hosts conferences with professional gamers and developers and travels to events like the IGN Pro League in Vegas.