AMD, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the City of Austin and The Texas Film Commission today announced Game On! Texas , their debut games education conference. Game On! Texas is a groundbreaking symposium designed to bring together thought leaders from the games industry, state education and business communities to discuss challenges and possible solutions for video games education in Texas.
Scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, this debut symposium has been designed to help education and business sectors improve Texas’ existing digital media and video game education programs, while highlighting innovative teaching methods borrowed from game development that local educators are currently using to inspire kids in subjects such as math and science.
Governor of Texas Rick Perry is the featured keynote speaker, addressing the importance of the video game industry to Texas. In 2008, Governor Perry expressed his commitment to the future of this industry in the keynote address at national games conference E3, calling video game development "a medium whose potential is only beginning to be tapped." Additionally, Perry has proposed a $160 million initiative to expand the number and scope of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) academies, as well as to fund STEM scholarships.
Featured games industry keynote speaker Alan Gershenfeld will present his talk, "Why Games are Effective for Impact Learning." Gershenfeld is currently president of E-Line Media, chairman of Games for Change, and former senior vice president for major game publisher Activision.
Other games industry experts participating in the symposium include Warren Spector, president of Junction Point/Disney Interactive Studios; Richard Vogel, co-studio director of BioWare Austin, and Gary Gattis, president of Spacetime Studios and chapter chair for IGDA Austin, who are being joined by other guest speakers to discuss the best models for game development education and how those programs can meet the needs of the games industry.
With estimated attendance close to 200 guests, games industry pros, educators and representatives have been invited from game companies, colleges, public schools, organizations and government agencies around the state of Texas. Texas is home to the third highest concentration of video game development companies in the United States.
Panelists include guest speakers from major Texas universities, the Texas Film Commission, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and Skillpoint Alliance, among others. Panel sessions will address the best models for game development education and how those programs can meet the needs of the games industry.
Leah Smith, animation and video game liaison for the Texas Film Commission, offers, "The Texas Film Commission is proud to collaborate with professionals in the video game industry at Game On! Texas. From an education perspective, video game and simulation curricula represent strong transferrable skills that combine art and STEM to help young Texans step into the future workforce."
Ward Tisdale, director of Global Community Affairs for title event sponsor AMD, added, "AMD is committed to helping youth harness the power of digital games with social content through our AMD Changing the Game program. The Game On! Texas symposium provides yet another opportunity for us to collaborate with the Texas video game and education communities to empower our children to solve problems and develop important STEM skills."
Sponsors of Game On! Texas 2010 include AMD, Austin Chamber of Commerce, the City of Austin, Digital Media Council and the Texas Film Commission, with additional support from Austin ACM SIGGRAPH, Innovation First and IGDA Austin. Game On! Texas will be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the AMD Lone Star Campus, located at 7171 Southwest Parkway in Austin, Texas.