Careers in The Gaming Industry: Getting High School Students Interested

Each year, TechAlliance ask its members to participate in the Secondary School Technology Awareness Campaign. As explained on their website :

“During London Tech Week and London Biotech Week, TechAlliance hosts awareness campaigns targeting secondary schools. These initiatives provide teachers with the opportunity to invite seasoned industry experts into their classrooms to speak about their experiences, encouraging students to explore studies and careers in technology or the life sciences”.

This year our COO, Claudette Critchley, visited John Paul II Secondary School and spread the word about careers in the gaming industry.  Here is her story:

I started out my presentation by having the students guess some fun statistics about the gaming industry.  They were shocked to find out that the average age of Canadian gamers is 33 years old (they guessed much lower), and although many of them had played Angry Birds and CityVille, they didn’t realize just how successful these games truly are.  (On a side note: just this week it was announced that the Angry Birds ‘franchise’ has had 140 million downloads since its introduction in 2009.  With a $.99 price per download, it is pretty easy to do the math).  These stats led the students to better understand the diversification and growth of the gaming industry as a whole.

Just have a look at this chart for the United States – in total, 24.7 Billion Dollars was spent on games in 2010!  It’s great to be working with some of the largest growing sectors – Mobile devices, Casual game portals and PC/Mac (download)!


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I then moved on to the highlight of the presentation – how we made Burn the Rope with a focus on each of the different careers and skills involved.   I talked about the outstanding team of people that we have working at Big Blue Bubble and how everyone’s role is important in making a game.  We talked about the post-secondary education required, career specializations (something we will be discussing in future blog posts), and we even discussed the importance of soft skills.  Above all else, I wanted to instill in them my sense of passion for this industry, and my hope that they will have as much passion about their career choice.

All in all, I really enjoyed speaking with the secondary school students because they were so eager to hear about the many careers involved in making a video game.  Game development is on the rise and London is definitely becoming a hub of cutting edge gaming companies.  At the end of the day, I have to admit, I was honored when one of the classes decided to post my visit in their school newsletter. Below is the picture and the post that they placed in their Newsletter.


Claudette C. at John Paul II Secondary School

Claudette Critchley (3rd from the left), visited John Paul II’s Communications Technology class this week. She is the COO at Big Blue Bubble, a London video game developer for mobile phones, game consoles, and handheld game consoles. Claudette shared with Angela Elliott’s class some very interesting facts about the gaming industry.  Students thoroughly enjoyed Claudette’s visit.





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