GDC 2017 is less than a week away, and I’m so excited for the activities and programs we have planned! Over the past months, a team of dedicated volunteers has been preparing some amazing initiatives, and we want to make sure you know about what’s going on with the IGDA Foundation at GDC.
Our programs support inclusivity in our industry and help improve the lives of current and future game developers, and we’re very proud to contribute to the outstanding programming at GDC-this year, 28 GDC speakers are IGDA Foundation alumni or current program participants! We’re very excited to recognize the accomplishments of our extended community (but we’re not very surprised to see these exceptional alumni sharing their knowledge, accomplishments, leadership, and innovation at GDC).
In addition to congratulating our alumni, we’re showcasing our current programs as well as ways to get involved in the game development community. All of our GDC programs include all-access passes to the conference, generously provided by GDC, but each offers a unique experience, designed to help introduce and retain outstanding students and game developers.
First and foremost, the IGDA Scholars program turns 16! This program selects the best and brightest game development students for a week-long intensive introduction to game development as a career. In addition to all-access passes to the conference, students tour local game studios, have exclusive Q&A sessions with industry luminaries, and receive mentorship to further support their game development careers. The Scholars program also includes the Eric Dybsand Memorial AI Scholarship, available to a student whose studies focus on AI in games.
Our Women in Games Ambassadors program, supported by Intel and the Bigglesworth Foundation, provides a unique opportunity for women to experience an accelerated entry into a game development career, through exclusive networking events, resume and portfolio reviews, and an all-access pass to GDC.
Next Gen Leaders, our newest program, was introduced this year thanks to the generous sponsorship of Xbox. The Next Gen Leaders experience is created specifically to help retain under-represented minorities in game development by providing workshops for personal and professional growth, a mentor, and an all-access pass to GDC.
We’re very proud of the impact these programs will have on their participants, but we want to do more to support game developers. If you participate in a game development-focused community organization, be sure to attend our Roundtable at GDC on Wednesday at 11 AM, in Room 111 in the North Hall. Our Chair, Luke Dicken, will lead a discussion on how to maximize financial and community support for chapters, SIGs, and other game development organizations, including an overview of how to get grants from the IGDA Foundation and additional support to boost your program.
In addition to these opportunities for game developers, if you’d like to learn more about how YOU can support the IGDA Foundation, please don’t hesitate to contact me at GDC. Safe travels, and see you in San Francisco!