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USC's Interactive Media Program

One of the most prolific video game programs in Los Angeles is the Interactive Media division at the University of Southern California. Started in 2002, this groundbreaking curriculum provides opportunities and experiences that are hard to come by in any other city. Major video game companies are not blind to this fact. Electronic Arts, headquartered in Redwood City, has been a key contributor to the program in the last 5 years. Students involved in this program have developed their talents to truly think outside the box. Games like, Flow, Cloud, and The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom challenge students as well as gamers to imagine interactive media in a whole new way. These games are not just a shoot-em up style game play, but rather a relaxing puzzle adventure. As the video game audience grows to include baby-boomers and even senior citizens, the push toward less violent more relaxing games is underway. One of the most popular downloadable games for PS3 in 2009, Flower, was designed by Jenova Chen (who also designed Flow and Cloud). These games haven’t caught on the way that first person/third person shooters have, but the underground buzz is loud and the volume is increasing daily.

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