Turning a gaming passion into a profession

Your children’s gaming habits can turn out to be a viable future career choice as a games developer

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Is playing video games good or bad for your children? Many parents frown upon video games as time wasters, or as a catalyst for violence and anti-social behaviour. But recent studies has shown video games do have positive effect on kids. They train problem solving and logic, hand-eye coordination, quick thinking and multitasking, depending on the type of games played, and of course, when not played obsessively.

Making a career out of a love for gaming

Gaming is a multi-million dollar industry globally, and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) recognises the games industry as the fastest growing media sub-sector in the country. Local game developers have already been getting the spotlight in the international stage, most recently Witching Hour Studios who won Best Indie Game at the Tokyo Game Show 2015 with its upcoming Masquerada: Song And Shadows. Encouraging your child to turn their gaming passion into a career in the games industry might not seem like a far-fetched idea.

Recently the Suntec Convention Centre played host to GameStart 2016, an international gaming convention participated by many international game companies like Sony and Bandai Namco. The Singapore Gamebox, hosted by the Games Solution Centre (GSC) showcased various Singapore-made games alongside highly anticipated international blockbuster titles at the convention. In addition to Gamebox, other local studios were proudly exhibiting their games at the convention.

GSC is an incubation centre for Singapore-based game developers, an initiative by the Media Development Authority (MDA) and managed by Nanyang Polytechnic.

Ms Elicia Lee, founder of GameStart organizer Eliphant, recognises the amount of talent in Singapore. “We hope to provide a platform for local developers to showcase their products to industry professionals, media and gamers from SingapoFre and around the region,” she said.

Her thoughts are echoed by the MDA, who believes the growth of Singapore’s game industry is supported by the availability of a skilled workforce, strong IT and market connectivity and a robust intellectual property rights protection regime. Many international game companies such as Ubisoft, Tecmo Koei and Bandai Namco have already set up their base in Singapore, providing ample opportunities for local talent to contribute to the best games in the world.

Government support for the local game industry

But just because your kids love playing games, it will all come to naught if they are not trained with the right skills to make headways in the local games industry and beyond. Speaking at GameStart, Chris Ng and Jonathan Leong, cofounders of local Singapore game developers XII Braves, says “The degrees and diploma courses need to be updated; more relevant skills and tools should be covered for students to be better equipped with a strong foundation for the industry.”

Thankfully the government has already rolled out several initiatives in an effort to attract and nurture local talent. The MDA has offered support in game development and programming, marketing and talent enhancement, working together with industry partners to incubate promising local startups.

One example is its partnership with Digipen and Nintendo to launch Digipen Game Studios, which will provide mentorship, technical and publishing support for qualifying developers looking to create games for Nintendo-based platforms.

MDA has also worked together with WDA to launch the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme for the Games sub-sector last October, and assisted a collaboration between Singapore game developers with US-based digital storefront Humble Bundle to launch a special Made in Singapore promotion. MDA plans to expand GSC’s role to further cultivate local games developer startups, by improving business connections and reinforcing mentorship programmes.

Learn more about the future of games development in Singapore

With more support programmes for youth to further their gaming interest into a career, the future of games development in Singapore is looking ever so promising.

If you’re interested to see the opportunities your children can tap into in the games industry, visit SMARTgen Asia, the first of its kind event in the region to experience the coolest technology that will shape the way you live, work and play. The event will be hosting a conference by top gaming industry players for youth on how they can transform their passion for gaming into a career.

There are also SMARTgen Experiental Zones for your children to try some new exciting games on display, as well as panel discussions aimed at motivating and inspiring youths and parents to tackle today’s biggest topics revolving around innovation, success, technology and entrepreneurship.

Join us and prepare your child for a 21st century career. Get valuable advise from top industry players from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, Uber, Riot Games and more...

Visit our website for details and other event highlights! We hope to see you at SmartGen 2018!

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