“I think traditionally a lot of people haven't seen working in the games industry as a credible career but it is a rapidly growing sector, bigger than the movie industry now, and should be taken seriously.”
Paul Roberts, Games Programming Scheme Lead
Computer games experts from Staffordshire University will debate whether working in the games industry is a 'real job' at one of the country's biggest gaming conventions this weekend.
Games Programming Scheme Lead Paul Roberts and Games Programming Lecturer Dr Chris McCreadie are part of the Mega Panel, a live 24 hour podcast at gaming festival Insomnia which takes place at the Birmingham NEC. The panel features a host of industry figures discussing games and culture and Staffordshire University is the only representative from the education sector.
Paul and Chris will address games education and employability in their session entitled 'Is Games a Real Job?' live at 6 – 7pm during the marathon podcast on Friday.
“I think traditionally a lot of people haven't seen working in the games industry as a credible career - I know my parents certainly didn't! But it is a rapidly growing sector, bigger than the movie industry now, and should be taken seriously.” explained Paul.
Staffordshire University's Computer Games Programming course has an impressive employability rate of 95% and Paul believes it is increasingly important to help students prepare for the working world.
Four Staffordshire University students will manage the live-streaming of the Mega Panel and look after guest speakers. A further eight students will be at Insomnia on work experience with indie games company Payload Studios. There will also be a showcase of student work on display during the event.
“Our section is aimed at any budding games designers or programmers hoping to forge a career in the industry. As the sector grows there is inevitably more competition for jobs.” commented Paul.
“It's important that students prepare for when they graduate, by building up a portfolio and gaining vital work experience, to give them the best chance when they leave university.”
The Mega Panel podcast is also raising money for charity Special Effect which helps people with physical disabilities to enjoy computer games.
Paul said: “Games is what I do and what I love so to be given the opportunity to help others enjoy video games is really special. A lot of children with physical disabilities aren't able to play outside and kick a football so the Special Effect charity can make a massive difference to their lives.”
The MegaPanel is aiming to raise £2,400 Special Effect and donations can be made on the fundraising page here.
School of Computing (Games Programming, Software Engineering & Mobile Systems)
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences
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