Today, Greater New Orleans (GNO), Inc. and New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), in partnership with Xbox Game Studios, opened applications for the second year of Xbox Game Studios Game Camp New Orleans. The program will run from March 9 to April 27, 2022. This immersive learning experience is a hands-on game creator program open to those passionate about video games with a variety of skill levels, including aspiring developers, engineers, artists, musicians, project managers and many other disciplines.
While Game Camp has expanded internationally, GNO, Inc., NOLABA and Xbox Game Studios are bringing the program back to New Orleans due to its distinct culture, diverse population, abundance of talent from historically Black colleges and universities and the recent addition of an office for inXile Entertainment, an Xbox Game Studios team.
“The partnership and commitment Xbox Game Studios has made to New Orleans has been transformational. They identified the passion and creativity of our workforce and have tapped into a local talent pool that would not normally have pursued a career in video games,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of GNO Inc. “Companies are drawn to talent and this partnership allows us to provide opportunities for our young people to have access to one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, all while staying right here in Greater New Orleans.”
Now in its second year, the Xbox Game Studios Game Camp program aims to inspire creators in Greater New Orleans and Louisiana to realize their potential in the gaming industry through unique learning experiences from industry leaders. Camp details and application information may be found at gamecampnola.com. The eight-week program will be conducted in partnership with GNO, Inc. and NOLABA.
“We know that extraordinary talent resides everywhere, and we saw that in action during our first Game Camp in New Orleans,” said Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios at Microsoft. “New Orleans is a special place with a vibrant, thriving culture full of talent that has a real passion for the games industry. We’re returning to New Orleans to continue building on that foundation, connecting aspiring game creators to access, mentorship and support from our experienced game developers to help them succeed.”
Game Camp participants will break into teams based on aligned interests and backgrounds and will work together to create games under the guidance of Xbox Game Studios mentors. There will be a significant online learning component to the program, which will allow participants to engage with focused training modules on topics that align closely with their skills and interests. Xbox Game Studios and program partners will facilitate workshops on various game development topics throughout the training.
“NOLABA is extremely excited that Xbox Game Studios sees the potential in New Orleans for highlighting extraordinary talent,” says Norman E. Barnum, IV, Interim President and CEO, NOLABA. “The fact that they are investing significant resources into developing local video game creators, with the second installment of the Xbox Game Studios Game Camp, is a testament to the creativity that lives and grows in our cultural community of New Orleans. NOLABA believes in nurturing and building on our local talent, and we look forward to working alongside all our partners to ensure New Orleans residents from all neighborhoods can apply for this year’s Xbox Game Studios Game Camp.”
Game Camp New Orleans 2020-21 ran from Fall 2020 to Spring 2021 and engaged 170 people organized into 17 teams throughout Louisiana. The program offered a free immersive learning experience that taught foundational skills in game creation engines, C# programming and game design through a mix of self-paced learning and live instruction. The main project for teams was the creation of a fully functional game.