Today marks the launch of the first Annual Games Careers Week: a diverse programme of events dedicated to getting more people to explore careers and education in one of the UK’s highest growth and most exciting creative industries.
Running 26 March-2 April 2021, over 75 event partners – including video games studios, nonprofit organisations, and educational institutions – will come together for this free online festival to provide exhibitions, interactive workshops and panel discussions, with the aim to encourage students, parents, career advisers, and teachers, to explore the potential of and many pathways into video games careers.
The week will provide a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in a career in video games. Participants of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from the experience and advice of some of the UK’s top industry leaders – from how games are made, useful subjects and skills to study, to portfolio building, networking and how to break into the industry, and more.
Key themes and insight into games careers from social, political, cultural, and economic perspectives will include:
- Highlighting the need for greater access to education and advice on games careers to people from all backgrounds
- Tackling industry stereotypes and misconceptions
- Improving diversity and inclusion in video games by showcasing the diverse talents, viewpoints, and experiences behind critically acclaimed bodies of work
- Unconscious bias in parental perceptions of careers for their children
As part of the event’s focus on diversity in video games, the event organisers have recruited a diverse range of spokespeople from the sector. They also called for an industry-wide sourcing of diverse images of studios, makers, and the people behind the games, to create a royalty-free image bank for games careers. The aim is for would-be game designers, programmers, artists, producers and anyone from diverse backgrounds to be able to see people like themselves already in the industry, showing that it’s a career option available to all, regardless of race, gender identity, sexuality, neurodiversity, or having a disability.
Games Careers week is a non-profit event funded and organised by The BGI, Grads in Games, and Into Games. It has amassed the support of over 75 partners, all recognising the necessity for educating the public about an industry with a global sales value of over £100 billion in 2020 (Nielsen) – and the fact that many of the world’s top games development studios are UK-based.
Rick Gibson, one of the founders of Games Careers Week, commented, “We want to help diverse young people, their parents, and their educators to learn more about why creative technology is so important for their futures. The games industry should be a poster-child for the UK’s export-driven knowledge economy. Most parents don’t know the UK supports over 25,000 stable, exciting and well-paid jobs, a number which grew by over 12% in 2020 right through the pandemic. We recognise there are education and knowledge gaps about games careers, especially amongst women and underrepresented communities, and we think the best way to build a more diverse workforce is to provide the tools, advice, and information to encourage a range of diverse new talent to explore their digital skills and career potential.”
Games Career Week has also received support from UK Minister for Employment Mims Davies: “Gaming can traditionally be a rather challenging sector to break into, so it’s great to see the industry giving such exciting opportunities to young people this Games Careers Week.
“Many companies in the gaming world have already signed up to the DWP Kickstart Scheme to help our next generation of workers into brilliant new roles as part of our Plan for Jobs, and I encourage other employers to get involved across the sector as we push to build back better from the pandemic.”
A full schedule of the Festival’s events, news, as well as a permanent information resource on games careers can be found at https://gamescareersweek.org/
About Games Careers Week
Games Careers Week is a free celebration of games careers, with nationwide online events involving over 75 organisations aimed at young people, parents, learners, teachers, and job-seekers; to showcase the skills, pathways, and potential of games careers – with diversity at its heart.