More colleges are offering degrees in video game design, and that is good for the sponsorship industry.

Full Sail University, the University of Baltimore and other schools are increasingly using sponsorship to engage video game designers and would-be designers. Case in point: the University of Baltimore and Maryland Institute College of Art will both sponsor next month’s Artscape festival on behalf of their video game offerings.  

The number of schools offering video game courses rose by more than 50 percent in the past five years, according to the Entertainment Software Assn., a trade group that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers.

Three-hundred and ninety colleges, universities and other academic institutions offered professional certificates and undergraduate and graduate degrees in video game design in 2014, up from 254 schools in 2009.

“Today’s colleges and universities are responding to student demand for high-quality and innovative video game design programs,” said Michael Gallagher, ESA president and CEO, in a statement. “This explosive growth in video game education is the rocket fuel that will propel this industry to new heights.”

California offers the greatest number of video game related degrees (73) followed by New York (26) and Illinois and Texas (24). Other leaders include Florida (22), Pennsylvania (19), Minnesota (17) and Massachusetts (14).

The University of Baltimore’s Artscape sponsorship affords presenting status of Gamescape, a showcase of video games and video game designers. The July 17-19 event features video games from local and national designers, video game competitions and more than 30 classic arcade games.

The university swapped real estate for the sponsorship. Gamescape will take place at the former University of Baltimore Law Building.

The festival previously paid for the real estate, said Bob Sicard, director of corporate sponsorship with the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

Full Sail University uses its partnership with the Vans Warped Tour to promote degrees in video game design, music and other creative disciplines. The company has activated the sponsorship with a 75-foot truck/trailer mobile exhibit and internship positions with the tour (production office, sound board, blog, etc.).