MassDiGI hosting DevConnect for gaming students
Published on: March 18, 2020
The Massachusetts Digital Game Institute (MassDiGI) at Becker College has come up with a way to help students and recent graduates get professional feedback and make connections in the gaming industry. It’s called DevConnect.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the postponement of the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), perhaps the most important event on the global game industry calendar,” said Timothy Loew, executive director of MassDiGI. “For many game industry professionals, GDC is a critically important and irreplaceable annual event. For many students and recent graduates looking to break into the industry, it is no less so. Since we work with many students, we wanted to create something that could offer them some value and help take a little of the sting out of GDC being delayed.”
Loew noted that his team put calls out to leaders in the game industry for help, and got a great response. DevConnect will run through Friday, March 20, and will give dozens of students and recent graduates from 13 different colleges and universities—including Becker College—the chance to take part in online mini talks, one-on-ones and portfolio reviews with game industry professionals from 16 companies, studios and organizations.
“This is a hard time for everyone,” said Monty Sharma, managing director of MassDiGI and lead organizer of DevConnect. “It’s inspiring to see so many busy professionals taking the time to help young people just getting started.”
For students, it’s an opportunity to interact with professionals and learn, gather feedback on their body of work, and get a sense of where the industry is headed.
“As I get ready for graduation next year, connecting with professionals is an important part of my plan to begin establishing relationships in the game industry,” said Becker College junior Jennifer Kindl, who is also an IGDA Scholar ’19 and Microsoft Game Changer ’19 awardee. “DevConnect is the kind of event that will help me do that even amidst so much uncertainty.”
For professionals, it’s an opportunity to connect with students and give back, offer guidance, and scout the next generation of talent.
“Building a network is crucial to making it in any industry,” said Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir of Bonfire Studios. “This is a problem for students everywhere, but once a year we used to see them at GDC. It is great that everyone was able to work together and make this happen.”
Companies, studios and organizations taking part in the effort include Bungie, Riot Games, Day for Night Games, BeamNG, Adventure Labs, FIX Health, Bonfire Studios, Obsidian Entertainment, Happy People Games, Filament Games, Vision Online Games, Standing Stone Games, MassDiGI, Twisted Pixel Games, Mythos CEX, and GDC/Gamasutra.
To learn more about MassDiGi, visit their website at https://www.massdigi.org/. To learn more about Becker College’s School of Design and Technology, visit https://www.becker.edu/academic/academic-programs/design-technology/