Video Game Growth Initiative Philadelphia, or VGI, grew out of IGDA's Philly chapter, and it's looking to make the City of Brotherly Love into an East Coast magnet for games development.
Philadelphia City Paper spotlighted the five-man band - an audio engineer, an executive, a dev, a lawyer and a professor at Drexel University - this week. They're not the first civic group pitching the public sector on the economic development power that video game studios bring. But they do have a couple selling points.
• The city's cost of living is lower compared to major metros such as New York, Boston or, God, yes, Silicon Valley. Eating solid gold for dinner and using copies of Giant Size X-Men #1 for toilet paper is less expensive than Silicon Valley.
• Strong university partners. The story points out that the University of Pennsylvania has Ivy League's only game development program, frequently sending its graduates to the west coast. St. Joseph's and Drexel also have relevant sequences.
The rest of the story looks at their efforts to get into the conversation, although in a city and state such as Philadelphia, Pa., with its own budget problems and economic ills, convincing those with the public purse strings to lay aside incentives will be difficult.
All in the Games [Philadelphia City Paper; image by Mark Stehle, City Paper. Thanks, tipster John E.]