We are embarrassingly proud of our graduates and former students of the education. We have been teaching game design- and development on Gotland since 2001, so our network of alumni counts in the thousands, with careers across the globe.
They constantly surprise us with their insight, their productivity, their skill, their willingness to listen, advice and help out. Whether it’s as jury at the Gotland Game Conference, or inspiring the generation of students coming after them at our annual Alumni Days – they always seem to go the extra mile.
With all the value we get from our Alumni, we like to give something back too. And so, as often as we can, we try to recognize former students for their contribution to the education, to the games industry or to their specific field – be it game design, entrepreneurship, activism or academia.
Are you a former student of the game educations on Gotland? Please join the Uppsala University Alumn Network! And consider joining the 700-people strong GAME community on Facebook. It is run entirely by Alumni and has become the gathering point for all people who is or have been part of the GAME-educations on Gotland.
The jury represents the most hard-working participants at the Gotland Game Conference (save for our students, natch). Jurors travel from around the globe to hear our students’ presentations a day before the conference even starts, and to spend the better part of a week playing all of the student productions on the show floor.
Each member brings their own set of experience and expertise, and share that insight directly with the students at the GGC. We have academia and graphics solidly represented now, so the next bunch of seats are reserved primarily for programmers, HR and the nebulous “production“-people. There’s is of course always room, too, for people with investment or recruitment needs!
The interview is unfortunately entirely in Swedish, but she’s talking about how we use this course to have game design students work with external “real-world” concerns, such as; crisis management, Gotland’s water shortage, job market access for the differently abled, and so on. For the first iteration we worked closely with Region Gotland and local industry to come up with realistic concerns and evaluate the student output.
The Gotland Game Conference is looking over its award categories this year. There will be many changes, but one of higher priority than most is the addition of a… “diversity award”, for lack of a better term.
We work hard in the education and with the conference to engage thoughtfully with issues like representation, gender, intersectionality and the perspectives and lived experiences of the non-[white hetero cis male]. We need an award to highlight and celebrate student projects that exhibit an especially conscientious or nuanced understanding of these issues.
But we need help:
What should we call this award?
What are reasonable evaluation criterias for such an award?
Who (plural) should we look to invite for play testing and evaluation of the games? (the local RFSL and Pride chapters, for sure. But who’s an expert on, say, race in Sweden?)
Specifically: the department faculty, being very much mostly white and edumacated types, do not feel at all like a reasonable authority. I mean that both in terms of appropriation and in terms of perceived validity of the award. While the fight is ours to take, it is not on us to declare any sort of victory. And in terms of validity of the award – it risks being seen as self congratulatory.
So. I am currently looking for any sort of input, really. If you don’t want to discuss publicly, feel free to grab me over e-mail!
If you would like to be part of the Gotland Game Conference jury, read these instructions and submit an application. Leave a comment in the last field if you are particularly interested or suited for the diversity-perspective.