The GAME department of Gotland University hosted their annual conference a couple of weeks ago. The change from the old Awards-format didn’t pass unnoticed – the entire awards ceremony had been condensed into something more akin to a fancy toast at a party, than the amazing hour-long stage shows of previous years (FRIGGIN LASER BEAMS!).
On the other hand, the event was a lot more functional as a meeting place. They opened the show floor up to non-university actors (eg. local entrepreneurs and -services) which was very cool. Meow Entertainment, Digital Nature, Plasma Cod, Almi and others took the opportunity to exhibit along with the game development students.
The university brought in 32 industry representatives and offered a bunch of open sessions. But the most interesting by far was a panel with student startups (eg. gotland indies. ). Max from Meow Entertainment, Robin from Zeal Game Studio, Albertina from Digital Nature, Phillipe from Heroic Entertainment took the stage together with local politicians, the incubator and a representative of Gotland University, to discuss the current- and future challenges that these entrepreneurs face on the island.
The panel was moderated by Johannes Wadin – a GAME alumn with experience from Avalance, Lionhead, Might & Delight and more recently his own startup; TapeDuck. He was a pretty awesome choice, come to think of it. He perfectly embodies one of the problem inherent of the island; all of the educated, talented and competent people that graduate the university every year only to leave the island in search of a career.
A career that obviously should be available here! Hopefully, Gotland Indies can serve as a tool in making that happen.