The BGI is a new national charity for games culture, skills, diversity and sustainability.
Our goal is to advance the education of the public about the art, science, history and technology of digital games.
The BGI celebrates, researches and educates the public about:
- the ART and cultural impact of games on individuals and our wider society.
- the underlying SCIENCE of games development and the multitude of uniquely transferable skills that are used in sustainable game production.
- the HISTORY of games, how they reflect societal norms of the time and how they could shape a more diverse and inclusive future.
- the application of existing and emerging TECHNOLOGY within games development, its growing impact on multiple sectors and its use in creating sustainable studios.
A new charity
The BGI has registered a new Charitable Independent Organisation with the Registered Charity Number 1183530. The new charity’s objects are to advance the education of the public in general in the art, science, history and technology of digital games by:
- the development and maintenance of a museum;
- the provision and assistance in the provision of facilities for education; and
- the promotion of research in all aspects of that subject and to publish the useful results.
Before the new charity was registered, the BGI’s programmes were run by the National Videogame Foundation, a non-profit Community Interest Company, which became the BGI’s trading arm.
The BGI’s goals are to:
- Advance education of the public in general in the art, science, history and technology of digital games through the National Videogame Museum, festivals and other accessible events;
- Advance education of children and young persons in artistic, scientific, cultural and technological skills involved in games production;
- Advance education through the provision (or assistance in the provision) of vocational training;
- Advance knowledge of the art, science, history and technology of digital games through research.
The BGI runs 4 programmes to deliver these goals:
- Culture: Educate the public about the cultural impact of games by providing a museum about videogames and how they are made; by running festivals about games culture in all its diversity; by collaborating with museums, organisations and public bodies on cultural education initiatives; and by the research and publishing of data around games culture, in collaboration with Research Organisations and 3rd sector organisations.
- Skills: Educate the public and particularly young people by collaborating with educational institutions to gather best practice games development techniques and providing vocational training, advocating career paths to the public, parents, pupils, educators and companies for more diverse candidates across the entire career pathway from preschool to retirement, and educating diverse young people about the value, meaning and development of games, as well as highlighting critical skills gaps within the industry to the public.
- Diversity and inclusion: Educate the public on the value of diversity and inclusivity in games and their development. Encourage and support the education of girls and women as well as underrepresented groups (BAME, disabled, non-binary, older, LGBTQ+, religious people) about games development and culture. Promote and communicate diverse ideas and perspectives about games to a broad audience, researching how all members of the public perceive and play games.
- Sustainability: Educate the public, including students, games companies and investors about sustainable games development approaches and how best to utilise funding and public research to ensure that creative studios are more sustainable and viable.
The BGI is independently governed by a Board of Trustees, informed by a separate Advisory Board and run day to day by an Executive Team.
- Trustees: The Trustees govern the charity and direct how it is managed and run. They enable and support our compliance with relevant legislation and regulation, and promote an operational culture where every piece of work undertaken by the charity, works towards fulfilling the charity’s vision. The BGI’s constitution and governing documents define a set of core operational governance practices, including conflict of interest policy, and conform to the Charity Governance Code. The Trustees aim to operate in an open and honest way to ensure we exemplify correct governance and best practice.
- The Advisory Board: The Advisory Board comprises stakeholders from across the wider sector including large and small games studios, journalists, entrepreneurs, angels, lawyers and educators. The Advisory Board provides the BGI with strategic guidance, networking and other assistance.
- The Executive Team. The charity’s executive team is led by Rick Gibson (CEO), Iain Simons (Culture Director) and Abi Kay (General Manager of the National Videogame Museum). The charity has permanent and temporary staff in 3 locations – Sheffield, Nottingham and London. The BGI adheres to the BFI’s Diversity standards and operates strict anti-bullying policies for staff and visitors to its premises.
You can read about how the BGI formed and was supported here.