Video Gaming Industry Could Be Rhode Island's Next Industrial Revolution

In this Letter to the Editor, Middletown Town Councilor Christopher Semonelli, also a member of the Newport County Mentor/Co-Op Group, applauds the recent selection of Keith Stokes as head of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

Letter to the Editor:

I agree with the recent selection of Keith Stokes as the head of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

From 1900 to 1910, Rhode Island saw the biggest boom in its population, with an increase of almost 27-percent. That makes the increase of the 2010 census, one century later, look like a rounding error. The source of the growth was that 33-percent of Rhode Islanders had been born in a foreign country. They poured into the textile mills and other factories as the Industrial Revolution that began in Pawtucket a century earlier chugged on.

Rhode Island needs another economic engine similar to the Industrial Revolution.

I feel the video gaming industry is a prime candidate for such an engine.

Games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops have sold more than $650 million worldwide in its first five days of release with an estimated 16 million copies of the game sold and generating more than 600 million hours of online game play.

More people play the game every day than watch such popular television shows as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon combined.

Zynga Nation, the virtual world invented in 2007 as a place where PC users could gather on social networks and play casual games at their leisure, boasts more than 225 million active members a month.

The gaming market is huge and the job opportunities are vast.

At a recent gaming career seminar of the Newport County Mentor/Co-Op Group, students from throughout the area flocked to listen to the presentations and understand the number of career offerings.

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation under Keith Stokes leadership provided a financial guarantee to entice Curt Schilling's group 38 Studios to Rhode Island. While this decision may be controversial, it was a decision made to help enhance the job opportunities in Rhode Island.  

A visionary decision.

The numbers of job openings listed on the website of 38 studios are numerous and the potential company growth can be huge. These factors confirm that this was an excellent decision.

Congratulations to Keith Stokes on his recent selection as head of the head of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

I feel that we need to continue to pursue the gaming industry segment as a source of future careers for our students, an obvious candidate for the much needed economic engine of the next century for Rhode Island.


Chris Semonelli

Middletown Town Councilor

Newport County Mentor/Co-Op Group





Gordon November 11, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Missing in these well meaning views of RI possibilities is the reality of requirements of this generations young tecnologists where RI does not even begin to compete. Top quality elementary and secondary schools, a tax structure, both income and housing, that does not penalize success but rewards those living off the income of others, the lack of real opportunity for the partners of those taking professional and technical work in RI to find work commensurate with their educations or meet the earning levels they are leaving from states like California and Texas. The very nature of a gaming business or any start up technology company is their absolute ability to be anywhere in the US or the world they want to be. Why would they locate to RI against this back drop? Wishing will not make it happen. RI needs a new generation of political leaders and we are running out of time.


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