Studio Gobo and sister studio Electric Square have launched a new programme designed to help minority ethnicities in the video games industry.
It's part of their Developing Minds initiative, which is a new free project that features 25 volunteers who are looking to support future video game talent in breaking into the industry. Developing Minds will involve videos and articles from experts in the short-term, with eventually volunteers going out to schools, events and universities to speak.
"Across our sibling studios, Studio Gobo and Electric Square, staff regularly collaborate when it comes to supporting people trying to break into the industry," begins head of talent Guy DeRosa.
"I think a lot of people in the industry have broken in with little or no support outside of the tutorship in their immediate academic classes, so were keen to formulate something official that can provide the kind of guidance they would have loved to have received themselves."
He continues: "We want Developing Minds to make a meaningful contribution to increasing exceptional talent within the games industry in a diverse and inclusive way."
Developing Minds is working with BAME In Games on the new programme. DeRosa says this was always part of the plan, but following the Black Lives Matter movement, plus a recent report from Ukie that revealed only 10% of the UK games industry identifies as BAME, it was decided this was the area that needed immediate attention.
"We're confident that we will see a crop of rising stars from the BAME community who will be well prepared to contribute to game development from day one," DeRosa tells us. "Working with their mentors, mentees will be receiving more first-hand guidance on software and techniques modern games studios are using day-to-day. They will have exposure to opinions on what does and doesn't work from their industry expert, as well as the ability to lean on them for tips and advice on how to break in and gain a better understanding of what to expect culturally.
"Our BAME in Games Mentorship Programme currently consists of 30 mentors and we're close to 40 mentees already. We are looking for more of both, so if you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee on the programme, please feel free to sign up to our match making system.
Developing Minds is currently a project specifically operated by Studio Gobo and Electric Square, although DeRosa says he is keen to branch it out and collaborate with "other studios that share our passion and objectives."
And this is just the start of the initiative's ambitions. In fact, the two studios are also working to support marginalised genders, too.
"Alongside the work we are doing with BAME in Games, we were really proud to also recently partner with Code Coven, a fantastic online boot camp for marginalised genders to gain industry skills and recognised certification within the games industry," DeRosa adds.
"We are looking forward to doing lots of great work with them, as well as launching our own material in the form of tutor articles, 'how to' video content and there is even talk of starting our own podcast."
For more information:
BAME in Games Mentorship sign up: https://initiatives.prospela.com/big
Developing Minds Twitter: @DevelopingMind5
BAME in Games Twitter: @BAMEinGames
Or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org