A new UK conference is hoping to bridge the gap between game educators and game developers, tackling "the big issues in games education" including employability, diversity, skills, apprenticeships, collaboration, and best practice pedagogical and course design.
Running in Sheffield on April 15th and 16th, The Games Education Summit 2019 brings together not just game course leaders across the UK's further and higher education sector, but also developers and HR staff from studios, recruitment companies, third sector organisations, and policymakers in order to foster better "collaboration, dialogue, and best practice sharing in the first of a series of annual conferences".
Keynotes will be delivered by Ian Livingstone CBE, Mike Gamble from Epic Games, Dr Jake Habgood from Sheffield Hallam University and Dr Chris Lowthorpe from London College of Communication.
Confirmed industry speakers come from a range of UK studios and organisations, including GameDragons, the BGI, Aardvark Swift, Rebellion, AIM, Sumo, Rare, Creative Assembly, 4J Games, NextGen Skills Academy, Women in Games, Dovetail Games, Interactive Selection, Playground Games, Unit 2 Games, TIGA, and Ukie. Education speakers include Dr Alan O’Dea from Staffordshire University, Dr Sharon Tolaini-Sage from Norwich University of the Arts, Abertay University, Fede Fasce from Goldsmiths, Dr Carlo Harvey from Birmingham City University, and Dr Umran Ali from Salford University.
"This unique conference takes a strategic view of games education today, informing games course leaders and games studios about where the opportunities and challenges lie," said Ian Livingstone CBE. "The Summit will focus the debate on how UK studios and educational establishments can work together more effectively.”
"To address the challenges and opportunities in games education and the talent pipeline, we need all the players in the same room, sharing how they work, what worked, what failed, how to improve and collaborate," added Rick Gibson, CEO of the BGI, whilst Philip Oliver, co-chair and co-organiser of the Summit, said: "The Industry needs additional talent, especially as attracting overseas talent becomes harder due to Brexit. So we need to embrace and support educators, to ensure that the next generation of developers are not only inspired, but that they are taught what is required by industry and are able to arrive ‘job ready'."
Alongside the event, organisers the BGI has also launched a new survey to gather the views of educators and studios on games recruitment and education. Educators are asked to share information on their courses, the biggest challenges they face and what they need from the industry, whilst studios are asked to share information on hiring graduates, working with educational institutes, and the use of apprenticeships.