NYU Abu Dhabi participates in exciting three-day gaming jam

NYU Abu Dhabi e gaming

The initiative was facilitated by NYU Abu Dhabi and the US-based gaming company Endless Studios

In a world where pixels meet possibilities, the journey from joystick to university continues to evolve. The digital realm becomes an integral part of daily lives, so let me introduce you to an era where gaming is not just a pastime for kids but a passport to the halls of higher education.

There is now a generation of gamers seamlessly transitioning from virtual battlegrounds to university lecture halls. One such place where this is very evident is at New York University Abu Dhabi who recently welcomed industry experts from Endless Studios into their campus for a three-day game jam.

This event united aspiring developers, industry experts, and stakeholders and culminated in a competition for university students, who spent the weekend brainstorming, designing and creating their own game-based products.

Mike Angst, Co-Founder of the US based gaming company, was on hand to provide a further insight into this blossoming industry.

“Endless Studios is a company that was born out of an actual game studio developer and publisher of games. And from that company, we were really interested in helping new voices find their way into the medium, so that more diverse perspectives could be celebrated in the medium.

“We are really interested in helping this next generation become not just consumers, but creators. And so, we grew initially as a sort of younger educational initiative to help tweens and early teens kind of become interested in design and technology,” he added.

Mike said that although their company is game based, the idea behind collaborating with institutions like NYU Abu Dhabi is to provide students with a chance to witness firsthand what goes into making a video game, and indeed inspire them for the future, arming them with many different life skills in the process.

“We chose games as a way to help young people build skills, because, you know, you look at the mindshare that the medium occupies in this generation. Because the game making process is a challenging one that involves being good at technology disciplines, but also being good at creative discipline, so that it’s a marriage of so many diverse disciplines.”

“That it takes such deep collaboration to realise not just the functional vision, but one that functions and also has a creative roadmap. We think it’s a wonderful way for people to learn how to collaborate and do creative problem solving,” he added.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai, like many modern cities, have witnessed an unprecedented surge in gaming popularity. With advancements in technology, gaming has become more accessible and immersive, captivating a diverse and expansive audience.

The gaming industry is rapidly solidifying its presence in the UAE with over 70 game developers and esports teams calling it home. This burgeoning community is poised for exponential growth in the years to come, marking a pivotal moment in the region’s technological and entertainment landscape.

To fortify this expansion, a crucial aspect lies in nurturing a pool of skilled professionals. Recognising this need, schools and universities across the UAE have responded with a proactive approach.

Universities like NYU Abu Dhabi now offer some courses specifically designed to cultivate the next generation of talent for the video game development and esports sectors. These courses encompass a spectrum of ‘hard skill’ areas, including coding, artistry, real-time 3D design, analytics, broadcast operations, publishing, web3, and AI.

The concerted effort to expand local training and talent development is not just about meeting the current demand but ensuring a future-ready workforce. This forward-thinking approach lays the foundation for a self-sustaining industry that can continue to thrive and innovate.

And that’s where companies like Endless Studios play a vital role, creating that bridge for students in university to be able to forge out sustainable career paths.

“What we’re trying to do is to connect community events like this (at NYU Abu Dhabi) with more formal programmes that would allow for sustained internship or apprenticeship; a programme that allows university teams to form and go through a six-to-nine-month apprenticeship while they’re still at university,” concluded Mike.

All in all, it seems like the gaming future is in good hands and it looks like it’s far from ‘Game Over’ for this blossoming industry in Abu Dhabi and beyond.

For further information, visit endlessstudios.com


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Image source Endless Studios Games Instagram

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