Building Equitable and Sustainable Game Development Education

Monday, October 23, 2023 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

With recent waves of layoffs, high-profile workplace harassment cases, and a notoriously short career length for gender minorities and people of colour, the transition of new workers into the game industry involves navigating a spate of barriers to equity and success that have been understudied in academic research. The First Three Years is an ongoing longitudinal study of graduates of game programs in Canada and the United States, following the journey of 207 students as they move into the game industry. In this workshop, our research team will summarise the primary challenges students have identified in their game programs. This summary includes equity and diversity issues inherent in common curricular practices such as the efficacy of capstone courses and internships, the inclusion of crunch-like practices in the classroom, the systematic failure to inform students of actual workplace conditions, and the mismatch between student preparation and industry hiring practices. Afterwards, participants will address whether/how these problems manifest in their own institutions, and what solutions might improve equity outcomes for students seeking careers in games.

This event is part of the “ADE for Game Communities: Enculturing Anti-Racism, Decolonization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ADE) in Games Research and Creation” series from the ADE Committee of the Games Institute, University of Waterloo, and is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.