World Builders: The BGI and National Videogame Museum working with University of Sheffield to develop the game designers of the future.

Ambitious new project supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

The World Builders project is part of the University’s Maker{Futures} programme, an ambitious scheme driven by the University’s School of Education and the Literacies Research Cluster. MakerFutures aims to promote maker education and develop digital literacies in schools, libraries and museums.

A consortium of Yorkshire schools, The School of Education and MakerFutures Project at The University of Sheffield and The National Videogame Museum have been awarded funding for a two-year action research programme, which will see children taking on the role of videogame designers and artists.

The project will be launched on the 20th July when the six schools will see the world premiere of a new animation created to introduce the key concepts of digital literacies.

Teachers in six Yorkshire schools will undertake professional development working with videogame designers to develop activities for their classes to try out.

The National Videogame Museum in Sheffield, run by the charity the BGI, will share their expertise in games based learning and their connections with local games development companies. Dr Becky Parry, University of Sheffield, said:
‘It’s an important opportunity to work with the National Videogame Museum because they share our own commitment to social justice. We all know there needs to be new voices and ideas in the videogames industry and this project will ensure children develop digital skills and story-telling aspirations to meet the challenges of the future.’

Rebecca Timperly, Headteacher from the lead school for the project, Northfield Junior School, said:
‘We want to ensure our staff, our children and our community are confident in using digital technologies to be creative rather than only consumers of videogames. This is an exciting opportunity to reimagine how we teach technology and the arts together – STEAM!’

Dr Alison Buxton, of the Maker{Futures} programme, said:
‘Our MakerFutures programme advocates the use of ‘maker-mindsets’ so that children gain confidence in bringing ideas to life with digital and physical tools. These skills will be key to future videogames designers but also to many other industry sectors.’

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation states that:
‘The purpose of the Teacher Development Fund is to support delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and to embed learning through the arts in the curriculum. It aims to do this through supporting teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience.’

Leah Dungay, Learning Officer at the National Videogame Museum, said:
‘The National Videogame Museum has long experience in combining videogames with learning to build valuable STEAM skills for young people and educators. We’re excited to be working with our partners, schools and organisations to work with teachers in the classroom, and build their confidence in engaging with digital technologies, videogames and the arts.’

Continue reading “World Builders: The BGI and National Videogame Museum working with University of Sheffield to develop the game designers of the future.”

Games Careers Week Reaches 37,000 people

June 8th 2021: The organisers of the inaugural Games Careers Week festival – the BGI, Into Games and Grads in Games – announced that 120 games studios, universities, non-profits, schools and grassroots organisations ran or supported 32 online events including conferences, talks and advice sessions.

37,000 parents, learners, teachers and job-seekers attended the online sessions. The festival had over 2.5m engagements on social media and over 50 publications, radio stations and sites with aggregate monthly audiences of over 75m covered the event.

The Games Careers Week festival is a free annual event to inspire people from every background to discover careers in the UK’s fastest growing creative industry – video games. Founded in December 2020 and launched in March 2021, the festival provides careers advice to people from all backgrounds, showcases the many inspirational schemes offered by the games sector year round and highlights key issues of education and diversity.

Games companies, educators and parents are invited to help shape GCW 2022 by attending a town hall event at 4pm on 8th July to:

  • Highlight successes from this year’s inaugural event
  • Get organisers ready to take part
  • Provide more information on how to get involved in 2022
  • Help spark ideas for what organisers might do during the week
  • Connect organisers to others looking to take part
  • Give organisers, educators and parents a say in how it runs

Sign up to the free Town Hall event here.

Continue reading “Games Careers Week Reaches 37,000 people”

BGI announces new Chair and President

The BGI’s trustees have voted to change the make-up of the charity’s Board of Trustees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claire Boissiere has been appointed Chair of the BGI, after serving as Vice Chair for the last 2 years. Claire is Studio Manager at Jumpship, an independent game studio based in Guildford, UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Livingstone CBE has been appointed the new President of the charity, after serving as Chair since the charity’s foundation in 2019.

Ian said: “It has been an honour serving as Chair. Passing the Chairship to Claire Boissiere is an important next step as the charity moves forward with its mission to empower all people to play, learn and connect through our National Videogame Museum, our collections and the public and educational programmes we offer. Claire has shown outstanding commitment and diligence in helping to found the charity and manage the Trustees day to day. I’m confident that she will guide us into a bright future.”

Claire Boissiere said “It’s been a pleasure working as Vice Chair alongside Ian Livingstone and the team whilst founding the BGI and I’m excited to be appointed Chair as the charity moves forward into a new chapter. Along with many other charities and museums, we’ve been severely affected by Covid-19 and the restrictions needed to ensure our loved ones stayed protected. But through the dedication and perseverance of our team, the generosity of our games industry patrons and public funding from the Arts Council England, we are now in a position to plan ahead. It’s this amazing commitment and support for games’ heritage, culture and education that excites me, and motivates us as a team to take on the upcoming challenges that we all still face. I see this as an opportunity to re-assess the needs of our various audiences and to tailor our future offerings so they remain relevant in a post covid world and to ensure everything we do is inclusive to all. I look forward to sharing more of our plans in the near future.”

Games Education Summit videos released

BGI has posted videos of all the sessions from the Games Education Summit, which ran in late March. The Summit featured a highly diverse range of speakers who gave keynotes, joined panels and contributed to workshops on the challenges and opportunities in games education and vocational pathways.

You can watch all of the videos from this influential conference here.

Why attend the Games Education Summit?

Watch this video to find out what GamesEd21 is all about.

Eventbrite - Games Education Summit 2020

Wednesday 31st March to Thursday 1st April 2021
Virtual Summit

  • Ready, Player… Learn – The future of learning in a post-Covid world
  • Discover state of the art games industry recruitment and education best practice
  • Hear students, interns and developers share their pathways towards careers in games

Find out who is speaking

GAMES EDUCATION SUMMIT REVEALS SPEAKERS AND SESSIONS

BGI has revealed a strong slate of new speakers from leading games and educational organisations to speak at the virtual summit on Wednesday March 31st and Thursday April 1st. BGI has also unveiled student tickets and a raft of diverse young speakers who will talk about their pathways towards games careers.

Full schedule is available here

Speakers include course leaders from the likes of Staffordshire, Bolton, Abertay and Norwich Universities, plus Priestley College, while organisations including Limit Break, Into Games, Out Playing Games, BAME In Games, Next Gen Skills Academy, AIM and Grads In Games will also be provide their unique insights.

In addition, the speaker line-up includes representatives from Aardvark Swift, Amiqus, Codemasters, Playground Games, Creative Assembly, Sumo-Digital, D3T, Fabrik Games, Payload Studios and more.

The Summit is sponsored by Unity, Unreal Engine and Aardvark Swift. 

New sessions on day two will include a session on mentorship with current mentors and mentees from Limit Break and Into Games talking about how schemes are helping diverse young people forge their careers in games. Another new session will see recent hires into games development talk about their journeys into the industry. BGI has opened up a low-cost ticket option for students, to give them the opportunity to hear peers talk.

BGI has also announced keynotes from Aurore Dimopoulos from Unity and Simon Nelson, founder and former CEO of the groundbreaking online platform FutureLearn.

Elsewhere, the Summit will look at how recruitment has changed for studios during the pandemic, including top tips from studios who have hired record-breaking numbers of staff over the past 12 months, despite the challenges of Covid. And a new session on C++, moderated by Dr Jake Habgood of Sumo Digital, will feature top industry coders.

GamesEd will end with a report on Games Careers Week, which is winning scores of partners from across the games development and education sectors, and aims to trigger long term change in the way the British public perceive games careers. BGI, Into Games and Grads in Games will report back on the inaugural festival, sharing its impact, reach and examples of events hosted by scores of organisations.

Get your early bird tickets to GamesEd21 at Eventbrite.

Notes to Editors

For more information on the Games Education Summit, contact Lisa Carter at lisa@mimrammedia.com and follow @thebgi on Twitter.

About the BGI

The BGI, charity number 1183530, educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames through the National Videogame Museum, online training and other educational programmes such as Games Careers Week. For more details about the BGI, please visit: http://www.thebgi.uk.

 

First 20 Games Careers Week events announced

 

Partner numbers approach 100

Thurs 11th Feb 2021: Games Careers Week, the free online festival for inspiring people from every background to discover prospects in one of the UK’s most exciting careers, has announced its initial lineup for the year.

Over 20 events from Grads in Games, BGI / National Videogame Museum, Into Games, Ukie, Women in Games and Tranzfuser have been scheduled between 26 March and 2nd April 2021.

Games Careers Week is packed with events aimed at reaching millions of parents, learners, teachers and job-seekers. Designed to inspire and inform diverse people about career opportunities available within the games industry, the week will showcase scores of online events for all ages and levels of expertise.

Games Careers Week is organised and funded by the charity the BGI and nonprofits Grads in Games and Into Games. The week is trying to tackle low awareness of games career opportunities in the British public, especially amongst diverse groups, and low diversity in the UK games workforce through a pan-industry public education campaign.

You can read all about BGI’s involvement and funding of Games Careers Week here.

The first events are detailed below, with nearly 100 organisations interested in hosting careers events during the festival.

Key events for Games Careers Week 2021

Games Careers Exhibition at the National Videogame Museum [March 26th onwards]: An online careers exhibition for families in which children ask games developers about games careers and educational choices.

Ukie Student Conference [March 26th]: Ukie’s huge event for college and university students returns with a packed programme of talks, keynotes, and Q&As from games developers and educators.

Into Games Portfolio Pitstop [March 27th]: A day of free, essential portfolio advice and tips from dozens of industry professionals for any learner posting their games portfolio on Twitter with the hashtag #portfoliopitstop.

Career Talks at the National Videogame Museum [March 27th onwards]: Livestreams by new Sumo Digital developers for young people and parents to ask questions about how to start games careers.

The Grads In Games Student Conference [March 29th]: A day of speakers from leading studios talking to students about the work they do and what life at a games studio is really like. Includes panels featuring recent grads on how they got their first games job, and a live masterclass session where you can create a perfect CV for applying to games industry roles.

Grads In Games Education Fair [March 30th]: Dozens of universities that offer game development courses will be congregating at our education fair ready to talk with FE, A-Level, and GCSE students about the courses they have to offer.

Gamesindustry.biz Careers Week Features [all week]: A series of careers week content, interviews and discussions will run online during the week.

Grads In Games Career Connector [March 30th]: A new format of online careers fair for the games industry, providing opportunities for studio professionals to be skills-matched with students for private meetings.

Women in Games Career Pathways [all week]: Developers from Women in Games’ pioneering ambassador programme will share their career pathways in a series of online talks for young adults.

Games Education Summit March [31st March to 1st April]: 30 speakers from top studios and games universities gather to share state of the art tips and hear students, mentees, and recent hires reveal their career pathways.

The Grads In Games Awards 2021 [March 31st]: Recognising the people, studios, and educators that have made a real impact in improving the links between the games industry and education, the GiG Awards celebrates the valuable work of those behind the scenes of games education and employability.

Tranzfuser Career talks [all week]: Tranzfuser are hosting a series of live chats for university students focusing on bolstering career paths into professional video game development.

Into Games Champion Sessions [all week]: Into Games’ 12 industry champions, each a diverse representative of their discipline (art, programming, QA, etc) will be running talks and events throughout GCW.

Digital Schoolhouse Games Careers Lesson Pack [all week]: A videogames careers lesson pack in partnership with Into Games bursting with expertise and insightful support for schools including a database of 50 One Minute Mentor careers videos, lesson plans and assembly scripts.

Search For A Star & d3t Rising Star 2021, Winners Announcement [April 1st]: Check out the future stars of the games industry as we announce the winners of this year’s student game dev challenges across programming, art, animation and VFX.

Studios, publishers, educators and members of the industry can get involved by registering at gamescareersweek.org.

About Games Careers Week

Games Careers Week is a non-profit event organised and funded by the BGI, Into Games and Grads in Games, supported by TIGA, NextGen Skills Academy, Gamesindustry.biz and Ukie

About the BGI / National Videogame Museum
The NVM is operated by the BGI, charity number 1183530, which educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames through the museum, training and other educational programmes such as the Games Education Summit. For more details about the BGI, please visit: http://www.thebgi.uk/about.

About Into Games
Into Games is a non-profit Community Interest Company that supports people in finding rewarding careers in the games sector. Our projects connect education and industry while providing guidance for learners from primary school all the way into work. For more information visit: http://intogames.org

About Grads in Games
Grads in Games is run by a non-profit Community Interest Company which helps graduates make the leap from student to professional in the games industry. It does this through a comprehensive program of events, activities and initiatives which equip students with the skills employers need. For more information about our initiatives such as Search for a Star and Get in the Game visit: www.gradsingames.com.

 

READY, PLAYER… LEARN: THE GAMES EDUCATION SUMMIT RETURNS FOR 2021

 

The Games Education Summit returns for 2021 as a virtual event, taking place on Wednesday March 31st and Thursday April 1st.

Speakers, including leaders from Unity, Playground Games, Fabrik Games, Aardvark Swift, AIM Group, Bolton University, Amiqus, BAME in Games, G Into Games, NextGen Skills Academy, Payload Studios, Nord Anglia Education and Sumo Digital, will share innovative solutions for teaching and nurturing talent, as well as providing advice on supporting students from diverse backgrounds into their careers in games.

Running during Games Careers Week, the virtual event will feature collaborative sessions for studios and educators to engage on games industry education and recruitment issues in the middle of the pandemic.

Covid has caused massive upheaval in education while recruiters have faced challenges in hiring and onboarding the finest new talent to maintain the games industry’s headlong growth.

With Brexit and new immigration rules, it’s never been more important for the UK games industry to nurture home-grown future talent.

The Games Education Summit will tackle these key issues – and more – during a two-day event uniquely curated for games studios, educators and recruiters.

Day 1 will focus on best practice, with innovators and leaders in games companies and education sharing how they’ve successfully adapted their programmes to work during the pandemic. On Day 2 students, interns and young developers will deliver valuable insights into their pathways towards careers in games.

Topics and themes covered will include:

  • Ready, Player… Learn – The future of learning in a post-Covid world
  • Diversity: How games studios and educators are changing the profile of the workforce
  • State of the art games recruitment: How studios have worked with educators to identify and hire new talent during the pandemic
  • Covid course curation: Further & Higher educators at the cutting edge share their tips and tricks
  • Pathways to games in a pandemic: New hires into games studios share how they transitioned into their jobs
  • The new Apprenticeships and Internships
  • ‘My Student Journey’ – Students feedback on their own experiences

“Education and business have faced the most challenging period in history over the past 10 months,” said Rick Gibson, CEO of the BGI, which hosts the Games Education Summit.

“The games industry has experienced record growth during the pandemic, but it’s not plain sailing. We’re all under pressure from lockdown, hiring from the global talent pool is harder after Brexit and the recruitment and onboarding of new staff has been a challenge for our rapidly growing industry. Education has been significantly affected with further education and universities experiencing huge disruptions from stop/start in-class teaching and the return of home learning for students of all ages. The Games Education Summit brings together influential studios, recruiters and educators to discuss how we nurture the UK’s future games talent.”

Get your tickets to GamesEd21 at Eventbrite.

Notes to Editors

For more information on the Games Education Summit, contact Conor Clarke at conor@thebgi.uk and follow @thebgi on Twitter.

About the BGI

The BGI, charity number 1183530, educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames through the National Videogame Museum, online training and other educational programmes such as Games Careers Week. For more details about the BGI, please visit: http://www.thebgi.uk.

 

 

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.

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