BGI recruits for 3 new roles, including Creative Director of the National Videogame Museum

The charity is hiring 3 new roles

  • Creative Director, The NVM
  • Vocational Learning Manager, The BGI
  • Workshop Facilitator, Next Level Programme

BGI is hiring an experienced curator with a track record of delivering exhibitions with significant digital components to be its new Creative Director. They will drive the creative vision for the Curatorial, Collections and Learning Programme at the National Videogame Museum as well as other BGI projects and festivals. They will define the Museum’s exhibition programme, complete museum accreditation and report directly to the CEO.

BGI is also seeking an experienced training manager to become our new Vocational Learning Manager. In this exciting new part-time role reporting directly to the CEO you will be responsible for supporting and growing our vocational learning programme, with a focus on the Ufi-funded Next Level programme.

BGI wants to recruit an experienced games (or similar software) developer to facilitate a workshop programme for BAME females and non-binary people in Sheffield. The facilitator will help develop the programme in 2021, then deliver and evaluate a series of 36 workshops through 2022.

Information on how to apply and application deadlines for all three roles is available here.

Working at the BGI

We’re a growing, committed and diverse team working to create an innovative programme including our museum, multiple events and festivals, our award-winning learning programme and our new Vocational programme. We craft fun and educational experiences that change our different communities’ lives. We’re passionate about our art form but knowledge of videogames is not essential.  We’re committed to creating a diverse and flexible working environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, disability, gender or sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief. We can provide materials in alternate formats on request. Our offices are wheelchair accessible.

 

 

 

 

BGI wins Ufi VocTech Seed Fund grant to train women and non-binary people of colour how to make games

Sheffield 1400 11/08/2021: The BGI has won a grant from Ufi VocTech to train a cohort of young women and non-binary people from Sheffield’s minority ethnic communities in games development. BGI aims to build an inspirational course that starts participants on the pathway towards careers in creative industries such as games.

Ufi VocTech Trust is a UK charity working to scale up the delivery of adult vocational skills through digital technology. The grant was awarded from the Seed Fund for the BGI’s Next Level project, which will develop and pilot a women and non-binary-led course for young women and non-binary people introducing them to videogame creation and careers. Using accessible technology, participants will learn art and animation skills, narrative development, and basic coding.

BGI will use the Crayta platform, developed by Unit 2 Games using Unreal Engine. BGI chose this platform because of its accessibility to people with low or no foundation of games development skills, its ability to publish assets and games, and its mobile-friendly interfaces.

The charity, which runs the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield, will utilise the museum’s workshop, which usually hosts workshops from visiting schools, to run evening classes that provide learners from disadvantaged communities in Sheffield with technology and a safe place to learn.

BGI CEO Rick Gibson said “This grant is a key moment in our charity’s development. It crystallises our vision of videogames inspiring people to change their lives and it targets the members of our local community who have been most impacted by Covid-19. We will co-design the course with our participants, recruiting new staff to pilot the course, methodology and technology before we roll it out nationally. We are delighted to join the Seed Fund cohort and are already benefiting from the high levels of development support provided by Ufi.” 

Ufi VocTech Trust is the UK’s leading charity for championing the power of technology to improve skills for work. VocTech’s Seed Fund is focused on supporting the development and deployment of new digital solutions to developing vocational skills. Rebecca Garrod-Waters, Ufi CEO, commented: “I am really pleased we are able to offer this funding to organisations focussed on the UK adult vocational sector – this is a critical time for UK skills and it is vital that we develop the right approach to digital tech. At Ufi VocTech Trust we champion the power of technology to improve skills for work and deliver better outcomes for all. VocTech Seed is our innovation fund, where we support organisations who looking at the best ways to support learners and get better outcomes for all. I am delighted that we’ve made offers to 15 organisations with ambitious ideas using digital to transform vocational learning who will now be able to develop these ideas in the supportive funding environment that Ufi provides”.

BGI is hiring a new Vocational Learning Manager to run this project and help deliver with the wider Vocational Programme. Job details are available here.

BGI is also hiring a Workshop Facilitator to deliver the training. Job details are available here.

Notes to Editors
A press pack including images and video of the galleries is available here.

Interviews
If you would like to interview BGI staff, please contact Conor Clarke on conor@thenvm.org or 07939 465667.

About the BGI
The BGI is a registered charity number 1183530 that educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames. The BGI runs the National Videogame Museum, Pixelheads, Games Education Summit and is co-founder (alongside Into Games and Grads in Games) of Games Careers Week, a festival promoting games careers to diverse candidates that launched in 2021 and reached 37,000 people and partnered with over 120 games companies, universities, schools and non-profits. For more details about the BGI, please visit: http://www.thebgi.uk.

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.

NESTA backs call for Government investment in games

Read Hasan Bakhshi’s excellent blog post on strong cultural reasons for governments to invest in games.

Hasan analyses the DCMS’s Taking Part survey and finds that UK gamers are more likely to engage in cultural activity than UK non-gamers, in particular “more likely to read, paint, attend performing arts and visit heritage sites and libraries”.

Hasan agrees that policymakers “have been slow to wake up to the significance of video games” as a cultural products.

No surprise then that the DCMS dropped video games from the Taking Part survey, which is an annual survey of the cultural activities undertaken by British people.

Why do we still have to argue that games are cultural products?

Time for a change. Time for the BGI.

 

 

 

 

Give us your opinion about the British Games Institute

Through the summer of 2017, the BGI team ran a consultation about the BGI asking for the games sector’s input to the proposal.

One part of the consultation was online, and we asked the sector to let us know what they thought about our proposal for this landmark new organisation supported by over 500 industry leaders.

We were really interested in finding out:

  • What do you think about the proposal for a new national games agency as a whole?
  • Do you think that the proposed structure of the finance programme will assist games companies?
  • If not, what alternatives would you recommend?
  • How do you think we could best promote the genius of British-made games to the public?
  • What do you think about a national games festival that travels like a City of Culture through the different games clusters each year and promotes local talent?
  • What skills gaps or requirements do you have in your organisation or as an individual?
  • Would you be interested in online training in 10 different production and commercial disciplines each year?
  • How should we account for the BGI’s programmes to the games sector once they are up and running?
  • How can we persuade the government to fund this proposal?

All the comments were posted here

Proposal for the British Games Institute

The following high level proposal for this landmark new organisation has been developed by the BGI team with the help of a range of organisations. Please note that this proposal will probably change further following the consultation phase starting 13/07/17.

Draft mission and values

The BGI will be a new organisation that promotes the cultural, creative and economic impact of video games in the UK. To be founded as a registered charity in 2017, the BGI will have 3 objectives:

  • To encourage the development of the art, science and technology of video games across the UK
  • To research and promote video games’ impact on and reflection of British culture, and protect national video game collections that represent the 40-year heritage of British-made games
  • To gather and disseminate the UK’s artistic and technical expertise in games production and distribution, to increase the productivity of British games studios and up-skill its workforce

The BGI will partner with the DCMS, UKIE, TIGA and the National Videogame Foundation (amongst others) and collaborate with many other Arts and Science bodies.

Solutions to strategic challenges

The BGI will provide long term solutions to 3 intractable problems:

  • Finance: Tackle the finance gap which makes go-to-market and growth funding inaccessible to most games companies by investing in cultural games production, encouraging games studios to create new IP, attracting new investors into games and triggering an economic multiplier effect.
  • Culture: Bridge the culture gap in which games are under-recognised as a cultural force by researching and promoting British games culture via a national games festival comprising events, competitions and a high tech red carpet show, as well as funding non-digital cultural projects.
  • Skills: Counter the skills gap in which games companies struggle to maintain productivity and keep pace with the latest production and distribution techniques by funding leading universities to catalogue best practice from studios, and use online training to upskill studios nationwide.

To address these challenges, the following programmes are proposed:

The Finance Programme

A £5m annual programme of financial support for games production.

  • Games funding: Finance £5m in games development using grants and soft loans to between 35-40 projects each year, disbursed across three rounds each year. Projects will be assessed by experienced games staff and scored for their innovation, bringing new talent into the sector, their promotion of diversity and their commercial potential. Funding of £100,000 and above will require matched funding by other finance sources, with certificates provided for successful award recipients. All games will be reviewed against the same cultural test used for Video Games Tax Relief. Awards will be recouped where possible at industry standard rates.
  • Increase games investment: The BGI will promote recipients of awards of £100,000 and above to institutions, angels and other funding bodies to assist companies match the BGI’s financing and widen the investment circle for games.
  • Mentoring programme: Experienced games executives will be paid to mentor recipients of larger awards and utilise their expertise in helping to make recipient games successful.

The Culture Programme

A £1.5m annual programme that celebrates the creativity and diversity of British games culture to the public.

  • Research: A programme of new research into the cultural and economic impact of games.
  • British Games Festival: Fund a nationwide programme of games events, hackathons and competitions focusing on a different regional games cluster each year.
  • Prize competitions: Games innovation contests with grant prizes, judged by experts.
  • Red carpet event: A high tech red carpet event to promote UK games creators to the public.
  • Diversity: Promote the role of women and BAME talent in the sector via PR.
  • National Videogame Foundation: Support the Foundation’s promotion of video games’ contribution to culture, society and education.
  • Culture Fund: 3 rounds of funding will be disbursed annually to a wide range of projects promoting games culture, which could include non-digital games, installations, festivals, research, networking and workshops. The Culture Fund will be overseen by the BGI in collaboration with a range of other arts organisations.


The Skills Programme

A £300,000 programme to acquire and share skills between studios using the latest online training techniques.

  • Skills: Acquire and catalogue the latest best practice games production and commercialisation techniques in 10 new disciplines each year from leading practitioners with the help of top UK games universities.
  • Training: Partner with the Open University’s FutureLearn social learning platform to train British studios and students online in the latest skills to increase their productivity and self-sufficiency.

Working with Government, trade bodies and existing programmes

The BGI will act as the government’s lead agency on video games, providing a long-term strategic vision for the sector and a centre of gravity for other games programmes, in close collaboration with the sector.

It will work closely with the government on a range of public policy areas relating to games, but not act as a lobbyist.

The BGI will work in close partnership with UKIE and TIGA and ensure its programmes do not conflict with theirs.

The BGI’s programmes have been designed to fill strategic gaps in existing programmes, and may indeed fund existing programmes where they represent best practice and the BGI’s funding can take these programmes significantly further forward. It is critical that the BGI proposal and programmes do not damage existing programmes, which are critical to the sustainability and success of the games sector. The BGI team is in detailed discussions with a range of existing programmes and organisations to define if and how such partnerships might work in practice.

The organisation

  • Charitable Status: The BGI will be a charitable company without a fee-paying membership.
  • Budget and staffing: The BGI’s programmes will require £8m per annum for the first 3 years, before expanding to £10-12m. A team of 14 will comprise the CEO and Chairman, a management team of four, with 8 other staff to administer programmes. The total cost of salaries and overheads is just under £800,000 per annum. The BGI will have a modest marketing and PR budget, as well as an allocation for ongoing external auditing and liaison with the Charity Commission. Total administration costs will be around 20% of annual costs.
  • Funding sources: The BGI is bidding for £8m Grant in Aid funding from DCMS, committed 3-5 years in advance. The BGI’s medium term ambition is to win National Lottery funding of £2-4m pa within 3 years. The BGI will also establish a fundraising operation with the aim of raising additional funds for its programmes from industry, corporates and individuals. The BGI will also fund new programmes from recoupment and reasonable overages from funded games projects that succeed commercially.
  • Board: The BGI will be governed by a Board of 12 trustees and 2 permanent Observers (CEOs of TIGA and UKIE) to meet 4 times annually. Trustees will be chosen from stakeholder groups across the sector and will be renewed every 3 years.
  • Location: The BGI will operate a regionally distributed model with the culture team in Nottingham and other team locations TBD.
  • Starting up: The BGI will take six months to start up. The organisation will be founded, premises secured, team hired, Board recruited and appointed, policies agreed with DCMS, programme goals and critical success factors defined in close consultation with industry, trade bodies, partners and other stakeholders and processes and legal frameworks laid down. This will require seed funding from DCMS, before its first programme year begins.

Discover the British Games Institute at Develop 2017

Find out more about the BGI: Develop, Brighton, 1215, Thurs 13th

Develop

The BGI team will be in Brighton to talk about the plans for the BGI on Thursday 13th.

Rick Gibson, Ian Livingstone, Jo Twist (UKIE) and Richard Wilson (TIGA) will present and discuss the proposal for the British Games Institute, a landmark new agency that, if successful, will nearly triple the amount of funding government provides to the games industry and fund games production, cultural events and education for British games companies. This talk will include a question and answer session with the audience.

Details of the Free session here.

Key takeaways:
* Discover what games, cultural events and educational initiatives the BGI might fund if it succeeds in winning government funding
* Find out why UKIE and TIGA have joined together with over 500 industry leaders from over 450 UK games companies, universities, arts and science organisations to call for new government investment in games
* Bring your own questions about the BGI for the panel to answer and find out how you can help lobby the government to fund this

The Develop conference session is part of a wider consultation with the games sector being run by the BGI team and the trade bodies. Details of the online consultation will be announced shortly.

Over 350 Games leaders call for the British Games Institute

The campaign calling for the founding of the British Games Institute now has over 350 British games leaders from every kind of games company, including most of the largest British games companies.

Rick Gibson and Ian Livingstone announced their plan for a brand new agency to champion British games on Monday 23rd January 2017. The proposed new agency needs new Government funding to run programmes that encourage games production, champion British games culture and invest in educational games.

Since the campaign went public, some of the largest games companies in the UK have backed the call for this new organisation. A long list of over 300 CEOs, Directors and influential industry figures from some of the UK’s best known games companies, investors and educational establishments has been growing at remarkable speed.

Sony, Rebellion, Jagex, Team 17, Supermassive Games, Rare, EA Chillingo, Playground Games, Radiant Worlds, Eidos, Future Games of London, 4J Studios, Slightly Mad Studios, Edge Case Games, Outplay, nDreams, SEGA Hardlight and hundreds more have added their weight to Frontier, Sumo Digital, Creative Assembly, TT Games, London Venture Partners, Catalis, Mind Candy, Sports Interactive, Climax, 505 Games, Take Two, Midoki, Warner Brothers, Space Ape Games and Codemasters.

We’re very grateful for the rush of support for our proposal from right across the games industry, in particular to Philip and Andrew Oliver for getting the message out to the Made in Creative UK group.

The timing is perfect for the industry to use a single voice to propose a simple, focused and powerful plan to Government for a new agency that will have deep and long term impact.

If you haven’t joined the call, now’s the time! SIGN UP HERE