Games Careers Week to inspire diverse young people, parents and teachers to discover careers in games

Pan-industry group invites industry to showcase career pathways with online events

 

14/01/2021: Games Careers Week is launching on 26 March 2021 with online events aimed at reaching millions of parents, learners, teachers and job-seekers. Existing events such as the Games Education Summit and Grads in Games Awards will be joined by many new online events such as Into Games Masterclasses, Microsoft’s DigiGirlz day, careers talks and other events from studios like Sumo Digital, Fabrik Games and Playground Games, events at universities like Staffordshire and Bournemouth, a new online careers fair, as well as an exhibition and career talks at the National Videogame Museum.

The new event was created by Into Games, Grads in Games and the BGI, with support from Ukie, NextGen Skills Academy, TIGA and Gamesindustry.biz. Organisers are issuing an open call to industry and academia for careers events from games and educational organisations across the country and will run a town hall meeting on 28 January to share more about the Week and how to join in.

Games Careers Week is designed to tackle two deep-rooted and related problems – workforce diversity and low public recognition of career opportunities in games. Although the games sector has made good progress towards diversifying its workforce in recent years, it is still much less diverse than either the population and the players. In part this is because most parents, young people and career-changers don’t know the UK supports over 25,000 well-paid, creative tech jobs in the rapidly growing games sector. These problems are particularly acute for diverse people and women, who can find starting, restarting or transferring into careers in games difficult.

The Week’s goal is to inspire schoolchildren to choose and study the creative tech skills needed to thrive in the modern world. Parents will be encouraged to challenge gender stereotypes and guide children towards well-paid creative careers. Educators will be guided towards existing resources, accessible games tools so they can teach more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) skills in classrooms. Job-seekers of all ages will find material to help them prepare to start, maintain and restart careers in games. Games studios will get resource packs to run events and work with schools and universities to share their career opportunities.

27 organisations are already involved but organisers hope that over 50 games organisations will  support events across the country and online during the week, with a website – gamescareersweek.org – signposting careers information provided by the organisers and many others during the week and year round. The campaign is being supported by media company Shift6 and is funded by the BGI, IntoGames and Grads in Games.

Claire Boissiere, Vice Chair of the BGI: “There’s such a rich diversity of games training and career programmes across the games industry, but it can be difficult for the public to find them. This Games Careers Week will convene, signpost and promote all those amazing programmes to young people, parents, educators and anyone thinking of a change in career, so they’re easier to find and more accessible to people from any background in the UK”.

Declan Cassidy, CEO of Into Games: “We want Games Careers Week to inspire, delight and surprise, but the event also carries an important and hopeful message that a rewarding job in games is possible no matter your background. A big part of this is providing support and guidance for teachers, careers advisors, and parents, and we hope that in 5-years time when mum and dads are asked what they want their kids to be when they grow up, they might just say, ‘doctor, scientist, lawyer….game developer!’ ” 

Andy Driver, Operations Manager of Grads in Games: “There are so many incredible people and organisations offering support when it comes to getting a job in the games industry and Games Careers Week is going to be a fantastic resource to get access to this. By collaborating together, it is the students, children, parents and job seekers who benefit the most and I hope we can inspire the next generation of game developers.

To get involved with Games Careers Week, register at gamescareersweek.org to receive information about the Week and the Town Hall Meeting.

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Albert Marshall joins BGI Board of Trustees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The charity’s trustees are delighted to welcome Albert Marshall to the board. Albert brings a wealth of experience in games, technology, governance and the law.

Albert Marshall has worked in the games industry for over two decades. First, as a lawyer at PlayStation and then at Take-Two Interactive, owner of the Rockstar and 2K Games labels. In 2012 he set up Marshall Media, a legal and business affairs consultancy providing advice to a wide range of games developers, publishers and other creative and technology companies. A qualified barrister, Albert is also a non-executive director for the London Mutual Credit Union and has served as a BAFTA Games Awards juror.

 

BGI welcomes new staff

Sheffield 08/12/2020:  The BGI has welcomed 3 new staff for the National Videogame Museum and the charity’s other programmes.

Claire Mead joins as Programme Manager and manages the curatorial and education teams to deliver exhibitions, learning activities and the NVM’s Collection.

Tope Imevbore is appointed Head of Finance, where she is responsible for financial reporting, projections and annual accounts for the charity.

Mikey Pennington is a new curator for the National Videogame Museum working on exhibitions for the NVM and driving the Videogame Heritage Society network.

You can meet all the BGI’s team here.

Jingle Jam 2020 goes live

The BGI is delighted and grateful to be supported by Jingle Jam 2020. The charity fundraising event is delivered by Yogscast, with support from Twitch and Tiltify.

The BGI is fundraising to train thousands of young people how to make videogames, with a special focus on disadvantaged schoolchildren worst affected by Coronavirus.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, all schoolchildren have fallen months behind in their studies, but children from the most deprived areas are now years behind.

With this funding we will inspire students to make games in our award-winning courses, rekindle their self-confidence and re-engage with their studies.

The Jingle Jam is a festive charity stream on Twitch, which can be watched here (parental advisory warning). Members of the Yogscast are streaming 12 hours a day every day from the 1st to the 14th December to raise funds for 12 charitable causes including the National Videogame Museum.

If you would like to donate to the Jingle Jam cause, please go to jinglejam.tiltify.com. Donating more than £25 will also see you receive a huge bundle of games, from developers such as Innersloth, Chucklefish and Jackbox games.

Since it started in 2011, Jingle Jam has raised an astounding $17.6 million for over 80 different charitable causes. We are so proud to be involved this year.

National Videogame Museum supported by Jingle Jam 2020

We are proud and excited to announce that the National Videogame Museum’s education programme has been chosen as one of the charities that Jingle Jam will support in 2020.

Spanning the two weeks from 1-14 December, this year’s Jingle Jam charity gaming event will see streamers across the globe raise funds for 12 non-profit causes via The Jingle Jam 2020 Games Bundle and other activities.

As of 3rd December 2020, JingleJam has already raised over £1,000,000.

Those who donate more than £25 will be eligible for a reward, which includes over 40 games, generously donated by developers such as Innersloth, Chucklefish and Jackbox games. You can find more information about the reward here: https://jinglejam.tiltify.com/

The charity is so grateful for this support and send a massive thank you to the team at Yogscast, Honest PR and all of the games companies that are getting involved.

We intend to focus any funds raised on our award-winning educational programmes, especially on those focused on helping disadvantaged children left behind during the pandemic to catch up with their studies.

Find out more about our educational programme here and Jingle Jam here.

 

National Videogame Museum closes to observe the second national lockdown

The NVM has closed to observe the second national lockdown starting November 3rd and currently ending 2nd December.

This sad news followed a very successful half term, where the NVM sold 86% of all tickets and welcomed over 700 visitors. We had some lovely feedback from people wanting to let us know not just how good a time they had but how safe they felt in our venue.

 

 

 

 

The NVM’s safety procedures were developed through consultation with our visitors and staff and have been working so well.

While our audience cannot visit in person, our team is gearing up to restart our award winning online programme which offers more ways to play and learn at home, so watch this space for more news on our new lockdown activities.

https://thenvm.org/learning/learn-at-home/

https://thenvm.org/learning/pixelheads/

https://www.youtube.com/thenationalvideogamemuseum

 

BREAKING – National Videogame Museum wins Kids in Museums award

We’ve just heard that the National Videogame Museum has won an award for Best Website activity in the Family Friendly Museums Award 2020, run by the charity, Kids in Museums. The BGI is so proud of our Learning Officer, Leah Dungay and our Marcomms Officer, Conor Clarke, for launching our NVM at Home activities within days of lockdown in March. The activities, which show families how to use free online development tools to make games art, design and narrative content, have been enjoyed by thousands of children, with very high engagement and completion rates. We’ve had a lot of happy parents sharing their children’s work, which are a great first step towards learning the STEAM skills we all need to thrive in the modern world. You can still play the activites on our YouTube channel as well as download materials to use at home. Here’s the first one ever broadcast:

We’ve always known our programmes can inspire young people whatever their background to do amazing things. It’s lovely to have that validated by the museum sector. Read some case studies of how we’ve helped children from the most disadvantaged areas.

 

BGI appoints a Director of Visitor Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheffield 13/10/2020:  The charity has announced the appointment of Hannah Bryan to lead the Visitor Experience team at the National Videogame Museum.

Hannah joins the resurgent museum to lead a new team focused on enhancing value for the charity’s 35,000-strong visitor community.

Formerly the Head of Audience Development and Programming at The Auckland Project, Hannah focused on increasing footfall, developing income streams and running marketing campaigns across multiple sites.

The new Director role leads a team of 16 staff and crew to enhance visitor experiences at the Museum, support the charity’s strategic development and develop data-driven approaches to operating the Museum.

You can meet all the BGI’s team here.

Note to Editors
A press pack including images and video of the NVM is available here.

If you would like to arrange an interview, please contact Conor using conor@thenvm.org.

About the National Videogame Museum
The NVM is governed by the BGI, a registered charity number 1183530, that educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames. For more details about the NVM, please visit: http://www.thenvm.org

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National Videogame Museum wins lifesaving grant from Culture Recovery Fund

Grant helps the UK’s only museum dedicated to videogames to outlast next phase of pandemic

Sheffield 12/10/2020:  The BGI charity has won critical support from the Arts Council of England’s Culture Recovery Fund. The grant will ensure the National Videogame Museum can keep operating through these unprecedented times until the Spring.

The fund was created by the Arts Council of England following the Government’s pivotal decision to provide £1.57 billion towards the arts and cultural sectors. The National Videogame Museum sits alongside a wide range of arts venues, theatres, museums and cultural organisations which have received over £250m in funding.

Ian Livingstone CBE, Chair of the BGI, said: “We were delighted to hear this news and would like to express our sincere gratitude to Arts Council, DCMS and the Culture Secretary for supporting the cultural sector during its hour of need. The generous funding for the nation’s cultural organisations including the UK’s only museum dedicated to videogames is very much appreciated. It was a great relief to learn that our educational and cultural programmes will be able to continue in Sheffield for the foreseeable future. Our mission is to preserve, celebrate and promote videogames culture for years to come in this exceptional and unique museum”.

Rick Gibson, CEO of the BGI, said: “This is a huge moment for our young charity. We’ve fought hard to keep going and have been astonished by the generosity of our community and the games industry in our darkest hours at the start of the first lockdown. As the second lockdown looms, our backs were against the wall so I want to thank the Arts Council and DCMS for this timely intervention. But most importantly I want to recognise our staff whose commitment, expertise and passion for our important art form has been recognised as culturally important on a national scale.”

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The National Videogame Museum wins Art Fund award to create the online National Videogame Gallery

The National Videogame Museum has received an Art Fund ‘Respond and Reimagine’ grant to launch The National Videogame Gallery, an online platform that will explore the visual arts in videogames.

Drawing on fine art practice both traditional and digital, the project will look at game art in new ways, illuminating its role in game development as more than simply a graphical asset. Conceptual artwork, character design and studies, illustration and of course animation – the visual arts within videogames encompasses a wide range of form and skills. 

Each exhibition in the new National Videogame Gallery will explore the process of a different type of artwork, creating a diverse collection that will cover a range of artistic processes. The project will also document the approaches and biographies of a diverse group of artists themselves. Who they are and how their work is created will be explored with full interviews, and newly commissioned writing from high profile players and critics. Over the next 12 months, these exhibitions will be hosted on the National Videogame Museum’s website: thenvm.org.

Art Fund’s Respond and Reimagine grants offer flexible and responsive funding designed to meet immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis and reimagine future ways of working. In the first round, 18 grants were given, from a total of 114 applications. Developed in consultation with museums and galleries, the grants meet needs in four priority areas of collections, audiences, digital, and workforce. 

Since lockdown in March 2020, the NVM launched a fundraising campaign to keep its Sheffield venue alive. Its lockdown activities have been well received, and its livestreamed training and web activities were shortlisted for the Kids in Museum’s Family Friendly Museum Award from Home. The NVM recently reopened to the public with very reduced capacity, and can now be visited with limited availability every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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