PEORIA - Video games have come a long way since PAC-MAN and Tetris, and now students at Bradley University are taking that hobby off the couch and into the classroom.
Student Jack Stephens said what he loves more than playing video games is creating them.
"Though of it always more of a dream than something I could actually do," Stephens said.
Stephens is an interactive media major with a 'video game design' concentration at Bradley University.
"Most people will only play video games and wonder how they're made, but it's awesome to see the other side of it and see what you are actually doing with your time and getting to put out your product and allow everyone else to see it, have a great time with it and interact with most of all," Stephens said.
Stephens is a junior and has created games before for class. He also helped a team create a game for a challenge in January, where people across the world come up with hundreds of games over a 48-hour period.
Stephens said he hopes his games will get even more attention now.
The Princeton Review ranked top video game design programs and gave Bradley an honorable mention.
"We're obviously thrilled to receive this recognition and it indicates a lot of work that's going on, both between our department and department of computer science," said assistant professor Monica McGill.
McGill said the program only started two years ago and already it has 45 students.
"We're just getting started and with the recognition that really helps us know were going in the right direction," McGill said.
Stephens said in the gaming world, this puts Bradley on the map.
"The opportunity to actually have yourself out there and let everybody just interact with everything you make is a great opportunity and seeing that they enjoy it and reading the feedback on it, just a great thing to have," he said.
He says his classes are putting his career plans on a whole new level, he never thought he'd play.
McGill said job opportunities go beyond the entertainment industry. She said gaming know-how is being introduced more into industries like business and healthcare too.
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