Xbox launches ‘Project Amplify’ to meet gaming’s desperate need for more black developers

To close out National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, Xbox announced “Project Amplify,” an outreach program to help the next generation of black game developers chart their career paths within the industry.

In a blog post from Xbox, the company announced it will be hosting a panel at Revolt Summit 2022, an event whose mission is to provide aspiring young artists with an opportunity to celebrate, network and develop the necessary skills to advance in their careers. to grow. While the event typically features celebrities and musicians in the music and entertainment industry, Revolt Summit also highlights those within the technology spectrum. The event will take place September 24-25 in Atlanta, Georgia.

For those still wondering why Xbox wanted to be part of an event whose lineup featured performances from hip-hop celebrities like Amber Rose, Killer Mike, Gucci Mane and Bobby Shmurda, the statistics from Microsoft’s survey commissioned a pretty clear picture: Black youth are hungry to dive into the gaming industry, despite not paying attention to people who look like them.

According to a recent HBCU, 95 percent of the 200 students and alumni want to work in the gaming industry. Of those 200 respondents, 34 percent want to become a program manager, 24 percent an engineer and 18 percent a game developer. I don’t think I’m pulling the rug under a reader’s seat by reminding you that the current climate in the gaming industry is still damn white. And for those who have my lukewarm view at heart, Xbox agrees: “Only 2% of video game industry professionals are black compared to 13% of the US population.”

For people who can’t book a plane ticket to Atlanta in this economy, this is where Project Amplify’s video series comes in. Xbox has uploaded a video series under the same name ID@Xbox YouTube Channel. The 16-episode playlist allows viewers to watch videos featuring 14 game designers who work at Xbox. It features people from 12 different disciplines of game design, including story directors, character artists, and software engineers.

My two cents, as someone who is black (check the pigmentation) and covers the gaming industry as my work: I think this is a good move by Xbox. While I was studying journalism in college, plotting a career path within game journalism proved nearly impossible for my college advisors to help me consider the only recent success stories they could conjure up, Alanah Pearce and Greg Miller, who, while amazing,’ t Black. Though it’s not Xbox that is raising its hat and rationing bigoted rations on social media, giving relatives their foot in the door of this relatively young and insider-esque industry. The more the merrier. Good luck to everyone who applies.

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