Growing New Zealand’s Computer Games Industry
Creative industries, especially the gaming development industry, are a strong area of trade between the United States and New Zealand. To promote this trade, U.S. Embassy New Zealand through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Arts Envoy Program has co-hosted a series of American creative industry experts to do training with aspiring game developers throughout 2020. This guest blog from Tim Ponting reflects on the game developers program created with Centre of Digital Excellence.
Guest Blog by Tim Ponting, Establishment Director, Centre of Digital Excellence.
Often we struggle in our little corner of the globe to access training opportunities with talented creatives from further afield. For those hungry to learn, the cost of attending overseas conferences can be out of reach. Conversely, New Zealand is a wonderful place to visit, but it’s a long way for someone to travel just to share their professional knowledge and passion.
The opportunities afforded by the Arts Envoy Program can make a huge difference to growing New Zealand creative businesses such as those in the computer games industry – and on many different levels. The program grants access to industry leaders with whom we have no contact; funds their presence in NZ, either physically or in today’s COVID world, virtually; and helps nurture longer term collaboration which can be beneficial to both US and New Zealand creative businesses.
A huge thanks to Alan Gershenfeld @ELineMedia for sharing your social impact games @BeyondBlueGame @NeverAloneGame & inspiring NZ’s next tech initiatives @TechweekNZ #techweek2020 #connectingourfuture @usembassynz @code_nz @nzgda pic.twitter.com/O8w2wZNMP1
— DunedinTechweek (@DunedinTechweek) August 1, 2020
Alan Gershenfeld, president and co-founder of E-Line Media, delivered a detailed and compelling public lecture as part of New Zealand’s Techweek. The talk, available for all to view on YouTube (see below), outlines his journey from being a key player in the foundation of modern-day Activision to delivering acclaimed Alaskan indigenous game Never Alone. It also explores his more recent work on Beyond Blue, developed in conjunction with multiple partners including BBC Studios and inspired by the TV series Blue Planet II.
It’s been a fabulous experience for all involved, and if you have the opportunity to engage with any aspect of the Arts Envoy Program I heartily recommend you embrace it! We look forward to staying in touch with Alan and developing the relationship further. Once travel permits, we would love to host him in Aotearoa. Thanks to the staff of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General in NZ for all their help and to Alan for sharing his expertise so generously.
Views of guest bloggers may or may not represent the views of the U.S. government. The links contained herein are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of the U.S. Government or the U.S. Department of State.