Xbox launches ‘Project Amplify’ to support black youth interested in a career in the gaming industry

Recent poll from HBCU Connect, commissioned by Microsoft, determined that out of 200 respondents, approximately 95% of college students and HBCU graduates nationwide said they were interested in a career in the gaming industry, with 34% of respondents saying they were particularly interested in the program. Management roles, 24% are interested in engineering roles and 18% are interested in game development roles. This week marks National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week in the United States, held annually in September, an initiative spearheaded by the White House Initiative to Advance Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to recognize the contributions of these institutions to the US and celebrate the impact of HBCUs on American culture .

Games are the leading form of entertainment, but today – only 2% of professionals in the video game industry are black compared to 13% of the US population.. In partnership with members of the Black Communities on Xbox, Xbox aims to boost these stats and close that gap by promoting pipelines for blacks and youth in the gaming industry. Introducing: The Amplify Project is a video series designed to amplify black voices on Xbox to inspire, educate, and motivate youth in the US to pursue careers in the gaming industry through real-life stories from black leaders and employees of the Xbox ecosystem.

Strengthening the project features fourteen black employees from across Xbox, each sharing tips, insights into their current roles, and highlights from their work in the gaming industry. This video series is designed to educate young people about the variety of roles in the gaming industry, as well as some of the black people who work in these roles on a daily basis. On behalf of the Black Communities at Xbox, the co-leaders shared their personal stories in a series of videos on their journey into the gaming industry, including:

  • “Growing up, I didn’t have much of an idea of ​​what my career would be like. I decided to go to college because I thought it was a way to “get a good job” and avoid poverty, but even as a freshman majoring in computer science, I still had a very superficial understanding of the opportunities that the tech industry opened up for me. During my time in college and during my internships, I learned more about how big the world is – how many companies, professions, and ways there are for you to find or create a job that you love. I want more people to know that they have options, that nothing is impossible or unattainable for them, and I encourage them to start pursuing their passions as early as possible.” – Q Muhaimin, Product Manager
  • “In my early years, I was more focused on what not to do. against what can i be. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned to turn my passion for gaming into a career. I am now incredibly grateful to be celebrating 10+ years of my dream career and I hope Strengthening the project inspires people to dream and act to achieve their goals. As my coaches and mentors would say, “play to win, don’t play to lose.” – James Lewis, Senior Business Development Manager

To kick off this initiative, Xbox has partnered with the 2022 Revolt Summit x AT&T for a two-day event (September 24-25) to engage students and gamers through field-based industry panels and networking opportunities with members of black communities at Xbox. .

For additional resources:

Learn the basics of programming and C# with the following tutorials:

  • Introduction to C#: A written guide with sample projects that takes you from “hello world” to numbers, loops, some basic data structures, and OOP concepts like inheritance.
  • C# 101: A series of videos following the same pattern as the written tutorial.

Once you’re comfortable with the basics and C#, try the Unity courses:

Download and learn the basics of Unreal Engine with these tutorials:

Learn about game design:

Some of the game developers at Xbox Game Studios find these two GDC (Game Developers Conference) presentations very informative and inspiring if you’re into game design.

Learn about the game development process:

Storytelling tools to get you started:

  • Leg-split: An open source tool for creating interactive non-linear stories.

Drawing tools to get you started:

  • GIMP or Crete great free resources to start learning how to use textures
  • Get started with 3D modeling with Blender

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