Train2Game News London Games Festival celebrates BAME

London Games Festival 2018 will launch a new exhibition of work by UK games creatives from BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds this April.

Ensemble highlights the significant contribution BAME creatives have made to the UK’s games culture at every level, focusing on up to eight artists and delving into their work.

Ensemble aims to inspire the next generation of game developers from all backgrounds, offering a fresh angle on game development as a creative process. It will also showcase how diverse talents and perspectives are vital for building more diverse digital worlds and creating the games of the future.

The London Games Festival has enlisted Sharna Jackson to curate Ensemble. Jackson has a wealth of experience in digital initiatives within arts and cult and has held roles at Tate, Design Museum, The Broad in LA and the Royal Collection Trust and consulted for National Maritime Museum, Museum of Childhood, V&A and Science Museum. She is a trustee at Sheffield Doc/Fest, New Writing North and Upswing, and a non-exec director at Bright Little Labs.

“Important work is being created by minorities, and it’s imperative to highlight these achievements – especially in this climate – and to encourage and support the next generation of talent as they emerge. The show foregrounds the importance of a diverse industry, by demonstrating its significance in the creation of rich and intoxicating worlds and experiences for everyone,” Jackson says.

A steering group that helps guide the exhibition’s content and ethos includes Jackson plus Shahid Ahmad (Ultimatum Games, formerly Sony), Nainita Desai (leading UK composer for BBC, HBO, ITV and more), Kish Hirani (BAME in Games, formerly Sony), Adrian Hon (Six to Start), Nahrein Kemp (Film London), Dr Mitu Khandaker (Spirit AI, NYU Game Center) and Anisa Sanusi (Hutch Games).

Ensemble is supported by the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

Ensemble will be unveiled during the larger London Games Festival 2018, which runs from 5-15 April 2018 across the capital, before touring key games clusters in the UK. This includes two days at LGF’s HUB event in Bloomsbury on 9 & 10 April, and other activity to be announced.

The London Games Festival is organised by Games London, a partnership between the capital’s screen industries agency Film London and games trade body Ukie, supported by the Mayor of London’s London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP).

If you are interested in submitting your own work for the exhibition – or want to put forward someone for consideration – contact or @sharnajackson on Twitter. The deadline for all recommendations and entries is March 6 – more information at ensemble.e.

For more information on the London Games Festival visit . Follow @londongamesfest on Twitter or Instagram for more updates.

Train2Game News BAME in Games Network

Tanya_Laird_Kish_Hirani_Adam_CampbellThe United Kingdom games industry today launches an advocacy group to encourage more diverse talent to work in the games and wider entertainment industry.

The group will manage a professional network to encourage discussion and collaboration on diversity and make available speakers for conferences and events.

The network is free to join and open to everyone interested in the entertainment sector at .

Creative Skillset’s Employment Census 2015 for games and other Creative Media sectors published in March showed that the representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups remains disappointingly low at 4.0% down from 4.7% in 2012. The UK average for BAME employment across all industries is 30% in London and 10% nationally.

David Smith, Founder of Women in Games and now BAME in Games, explained “We would like to provide some focus on the talent that the games industry is failing to attract. Games and the wider entertainment industry should attract the very best from all backgrounds. We want to nurture more talent from minority groups. We can also do more to promote the benefits of a diverse workforce.”
The first Chair of the group is Kish Hirani who has worked at the BBC, THQ, Microsoft and most recently, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. He is supported by two vice chairs, Tanya Laird of Digital Jam and Adam Campbell of Hopster.

Kish Hirani, Chair of BAME in Games commented “Diversity brings so many advantages. It makes creative sense. It makes business sense. And games creators can truly represent the diversity of those who play games. Help us build a network that makes the games industry a place that attracts talented people from all walks of life. We want everyone in games to join us in any capacity they feel comfortable, starting with simply joining our professional network on LinkedIn.”