From mobile games to Twitch and e-sports, video games have become an enormous entertainment industry. Its revenue is now larger than Hollywood and and the music industry combined.
Lorie Lamont grew up playing video games, but it wasn't until recently that her hobby became something more.
"I never though game design would be a possible career path for me," she said.
She heard about a new program that is offered at The City College of New York, called Gaming Pathways, which encourages people of color to work in the multi-billion dollar gaming industry.
The International Game Developers Association survey found less than a third (32%) of gaming workers are people of color, and only 5% are black.
Lamont said, "That kind of pushed me away from that path, because I'm kind of like, if someone like me is stepping in the door, then what does that leave for me? Would people even, like, welcome me with open arms? Like, what could I bring to the table?"
More than 1,000 students will be taught programming, visual arts, and game design. The program got $2 million in funding from the city of New York to help grow the city's gaming industry.
Program Director Nicholas Fortugno said that diversity is vital.
"When industries aren't diverse, especially industries in entertainment or storytelling, they end up telling stories to the same people. And ignores whole markets of storytellers and whole kinds of stories," he said.
More colleges across the country have established curriculums to help make gaming a career path.
Lorie is now on track to be a game artist, and she has advice for anyone thinking about working in video games.
"It's going to be hard, but it's ok, other people have your back, and definitely be openminded."
What was once kids play, is now becoming a career.
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