Next week on Tuesday, November 29, our studio will launch its first fundraising drive and participate in Giving Tuesday. Read further to learn more about us as well as ways in which you can support our mission.
"To provide affordable, professional experience in game design and development"
This is our core principle, but what does it mean? What do we actually do? The short answer to this is that we do what we can. Right now, what we can do is bring people together that love games and help them learn how to make them in a supportive, community environment.
However, we'd like to be able to do more. Specifically, our goal in the coming year is to help provide scholarships that support travel to conferences and other career opportunities to accelerate members' professional development and visibility.
This is important as, like many other STEM industries, there is a large gap in demographics over exactly who can make it into the game industry. This gap primarily impacts women, black, indigenous, people of color, LGTBQIA+, and persons with a disability. It is a multifaceted issue that requires many organizations to work together to give each person their best shot at the career they desire.
We'd like to provide scholarships for early career members of underrepresented demographics, but we do need the public's support to make that happen. Help us close the gap, here, in West Virginia. You can view national organizations of similar missions at the end of this post and support them as well. Learn more about these issues here: https://venturebeat.com/games/igda-report-tackles-the-essentials-of-inclusive-game-design-and-development/
Are you a resident of Monongalia County, West Virginia or a neighboring area? We accept members in an ongoing fashion, although it is best to start with us at the beginning of a Community Session.
Community Sessions are usually held remotely at mutually convenient times, selected by a poll at the start of the session. Members pick 1-3 skills they want to focus on for the duration of the session (3-5 months), then we work together on a project to help each member develop those skills.
Additionally, we have at least one public pitch day each session in which anyone from the public can present us with an idea. Members then vote to decide which idea we will prototype.
The next session will start in early January 2023. Sign up here to be a part of it: https://forms.gle/f8dX94tT4WFipCpx7
Who can join this session?
Anyone 18+ with a passion for game-making in nearby areas and in Morgantown, WV. Game-making is truly an interdisciplinary medium. Programmers, Artists, UX/UI Designers, Musicians, Writers, Social Media Managers, and more work together to help create games. If you currently have a focus in one or more of these areas and want to develop that skill in a team environment, then join a session. You are also welcome to join for a session if you are just exploring its potential as your career.
Why should I support this studio on Giving Tuesday, the Holiday season, and beyond?
This studio was created because there are not many opportunities available at the local level for early-career individuals to work within a large group setting. Most have to leave our area to get their career started, and frankly, that is expensive. This creates a wall of inaccessibility within game careers that hits particularly hard on black, indigenous, people of color, women, lgbtqia+, and persons with a disability. In an industry that often states it 'lacks the talent needed to fill roles,' we would like to make sure our talented folks get the visibility needed at the industry level in order to help bridge the gap in it. The primary ways of gaining visibility from larger studios are (a) participating in the making of games in a core skill area (b) developing your portfolio and (c) networking in game-related conferences, showcases, and conventions. The third is the most expensive and is usually what holds budding game makers back.
Are there other Game-related nonprofits I can support?
Yes! Here are more:
This is not an extensive list, but it will get you started if this is an area that interests you.