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Amplifying new sounds Sunday will be held as a one-day workshop focusing on professional skills and representation, which precedes the Game Developers Conference. It has a purpose. Underrepresented people in the gaming community,
The sixth annual event brings together veterans with new voices in the game industry to train a new generation of speakers and presenters. It trains early or mid-career developers to professionally represent their game or company to peers, audiences, and/or the media.
As the gaming industry becomes more diverse, game conferences need to reflect that diversity. But too often the same old speakers appear on stage, with not enough women or people of color speaking or applying to speak. Meggan Scavio, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS), said in an interview with GamesBeat that Amplifying New Voices was set to replace that.
The AIAS Foundation organized the event with donations from the GDC, which provided space and AV support to defray the costs of the event. AIAS also raises money from other sponsors to help send participants from around the world. This year’s sponsors include Microsoft, Sony, Supercell and Electronic Arts.
Amplifying New Voices was founded by industry veteran Perrin Kaplan, Zebra Partners. Robin Hunick, formerly of Phenomena. Caryl Shaw at Double Fine Productions; Brandy House, previously in Meta’s Oculus; and Sabil Sunar, head of Forty Seven PR. Scavio said the group came together in the wake of Gamergate, when it was clear that highlighting diverse game developers could help everyone in the industry learn more about who makes the games we love to play. like
“This was our chance to try to tackle representation in games and really show the world who’s making games, not just the people we put forward,” Scave said. “We’re empowering underrepresented game developers to become the next generation of games spokespeople.”
I agree with the approach the group takes to train people to tell stories. For a long time, I tried to find the most prominent CEOs I could find as speakers at our GamesBeat Summit events. But it was found that many of them refrained from speaking openly due to various corporate restrictions. And it turns out that focusing on someone who is a good storyteller can result in both better speakers and a more diverse selection of people.
This year, applicants came from all over the world, from triple-A studios as well as indie game studios. Past applications have come from all over the place, and applications are often diverse. Wren Brier, creator of the hit indie game Unpacking, went through the program.
The training focuses on how to be a good speaker, but also focuses on skills like writing a bio that will help you get selected as a speaker, Scave said. A lot of people get too casual when putting together a bio, Scave said.
The program provides a full-day workshop of hands-on training and coaching for applicants who demonstrate high potential as a new voice, aiming for outstanding, proactive roles for underrepresented groups and perspectives. Modeling is to be done. It also educates them about personal and professional PR and enhances their public speaking and presentation skills. They teach them, for example, how to do an interview with Dean Takahashi and not be intimidated.
All professional helpers are volunteers, and the environment is supportive. ANV accepts approximately 36 people from an application pool of 150 or more applicants. The ultimate goal is to normalize diversity in sports.
“This is an exciting project for all of us,” said Scaio. “I love amplifying sounds so much that I really want to talk about it all day.”
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