Four video game designers, the Victoria Advanced Technology Council and DigiBC have combined to establish new scholarships for students at the University of Victoria and Camosun College.
The scholarships — $1,000 at UVic and $500 at Camosun — will be available for students in UVic’s computer science program and Camosun’s graphic novels program and are designed to help local high-school students channel their passion for video games into a possible career.
“Gaming is unique among the many tech sub-sectors we have in Victoria. It brings together high-end software developers with graphic artists and world-class storytellers to create consumer products offered around the world,” said VIATeC chief executive Dan Gunn. “We are proud to join our members in creating a scholarship that will play a small part in seeing this emerging sector continue to thrive.”
The studios involved in establishing the scholarship are Codename Entertainment, Kano/Apps, InLight Entertainment and One Bit Labs.
“I’m super stoked that the gaming sector — one of the stars of the local tech sector — is taking it upon themselves to support the up and coming generation of tech workers. This is leadership at its best.”
With the announcement of these new scholarships, the Victoria video-game industry hopes it will be that one last nudge for an interest in video-game development to transition to a post-secondary level education.
“Victoria is the place to turn a passion for video games into a career,” said B.C. Technology Minister Amrik Virk. “Over the past nine years the gaming industry here has almost tripled, leading to many high-paying jobs and international successes.”
A study of gaming in Victoria in 2014 showed it had grown into a $24-million industry with 19 studios employing 240 people.
Virk joined Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and gaming officials today on a tour of local studios, including GameHouse Canada, TinyMob Games, InLight Entertainment and Kano/Apps.
In February at GottaCon’s Student Day, the industry hosted a panel discussion with gaming industry expert and there was also a Video Game Work Experience Program, where students were selected to spend four days embedded in a local video game studio.