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.
3. University of Utah
You can count John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe, and Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, among UU’s more notable graduates. Nestled in a prime real estate location, the school is only a stone’s throw away from huge game publishers EA, Epic and SmartBomb Interactive’s offices in Salt Lake City. Gamers who graduate from here already have a ton of experience under their belt and learn from some of the best minds in the business: “Part of the U’s curriculum requires majors in the electronic arts and engineering program (EAE) to publish a game before they graduate,” said Joshua Dawson, president of UU’s Game Design for Game Designers club. “Many of our game professors are industry professionals. The professor I had for my Game Dev I and II classes was working with Disney Interactive as a designer and was then hired by Ubisoft as one of the lead designers for Assassin’s Creed.”