Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



video game, economic development, occupational analysis, O*NET


The video game industry is a billion dollar industry with an ever-growing fan base. Massachusetts, along with other states, has begun to take an interest in further developing this dynamic industry. A problem facing many policy makers and economic developers is accurately defining the video game industry, determining the types of workers that form of human capital within its workforce and where these businesses are located. This study helps to solve this problem by converting video game credits, found in all video games, into Standard Occupational Codes to identify the types of workers who comprise the industry and by conducting spatial analysis using Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS). It also uses the Occupational Information Network to evaluate what forms of human capital comprises the video game industry. The results show the video game workforce comprises both creative workers such as artists and musicians, but also computer programmers, engineers, and business management and marketing professionals. This workforce tends to be concentrated not only in larger U.S. metropolitan areas but also in regions with a significant high-technology workforce, college towns, and government laboratories. Also, as this diverse workforce contains a wide variety of skills and abilities, a common theme is being able to work together as a team to develop a product. This study is part of a growing body of research and initiatives to identify and to locate new, creative industries within metropolitan regions. This research will contribute to future research using occupational analysis to identify new and growing industries.


First Advisor

Henry C. Renski

Second Advisor

Pacey Foster