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Gameheads Empowers Youth of Color to Pursue Careers in Gaming


Making video video games, getting profession steering, and constructing connections to final a lifetime: these aspirations are all a actuality for college students in Gameheads, a non-profit offering educating, sources and mentorship to younger individuals making the subsequent technology of video video games.

Regardless of strides in enhancing illustration within the gaming business, many paths in direction of a profession in video games stay inaccessible to youth of shade and youth from low-income backgrounds on account of a scarcity of funds or connections. Govt Director Damon Packwood co-founded Gameheads in his hometown of Oakland to assist treatment this downside.

Gameheads’ program combines online game design and improvement, training and profession counseling, business publicity, and hands-on coaching. Over the course of a yr, college students study all facets of online game improvement: coding, design, venture administration, and teamwork – expertise which might be invaluable not just for working within the online game business, however for a profession in a wide range of fields. Upon finishing this system, college students may have a completed recreation or prototype that they’ll embody of their skilled portfolio, and a mentor who can information them by means of their journey within the gaming business.

And Gameheads’ strategies are a confirmed success: many Gameheads college students have gone on to obtain paid internships or employment at well-renowned online game studios, and several other initiatives created out of Gameheads — just like the stealth platformer Camino — can be out there for buy in 2023.

Final yr, Xbox Publishing — the workforce working with impartial improvement studios to launch first-party Xbox video games — gave $100,000 to Gameheads to assist them put money into sources for trans, queer and different minority-gender college students of shade. With these funds, Gameheads is increasing its providers to achieve a good better variety of younger girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youths. As a result of girls of shade and LGBTQIA+ individuals of shade are vastly underrepresented all through the gaming business, Gameheads’ purpose is to make sure that younger individuals from these cohorts may have the assist they might want to thrive of their careers within the near- and long-term future.

Govt Director Damon Packwood defined that as a part of Gameheads’ efforts for inclusion, the workforce will rent a full-time Program Supervisor who will deal with this new initiative and recruit a therapist who focuses on affirming look after trans and queer youth of shade.

Marisa Diaz Art Image
Xbox Publishing commissioned Gameheads artist Marisa Diaz to create a letterhead for its inner DIAGS workforce – a bunch that seeks to enhance (D)iversity, (I)nclusion, (A)ccessibility, (G)lobal Readiness, and (S)ustainability for Xbox’s companion studios and the gaming business.

That is solely a small a part of the deep, longstanding relationship between Gameheads and Xbox: the Xbox Publishing workforce alone at the moment features a Gameheads alum (Narrative Designer Casey Ramos) and a long-time mentor and board member (Design Director Marcus Montgomery). They see the groups’ collaboration as an ideal match due to its emphasis on empowering college students to attain not solely their profession objectives, but additionally their inventive ambitions.

Gameheads In-line Asset
Gameheads college students at Double Effective’s Day of the Devs 2022.

In the event you’re interested by serving to Gameheads notice its imaginative and prescient of a extra inclusive gaming business, go to the Gameheads Twitter and web site for information on scholar video games releasing quickly! Xbox players also can assist by donating their Rewards factors to Gameheads.

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