Heart of Midlothian FC is running a weekly game development programme for girls from S1 – S3 as part of it’s unique innovation centre – and they’re looking for women from across the games industry who can inspire, encourage and help the participants to understand more about making games.
Gaming For Good
The Gaming For Good programme doesn’t just teach valuable design and development skills, but does so in a way which helps to produce games with real social impact. Students are encouraged to think about topics from the real world and find ideas for games which would help to solve the issues they see in their own lives.
Students receive help and support from experienced developers, to come up with a concept, create a practical design and then develop a prototype of their game they can share with the world.
While all of the clubs and programmes at the Innovation Centre are LGBTQ+ friendly, this club is specifically designed to provide a more comfortable space for girls and anyone identifying as non-binary.
Kelly Gardner, the Digital Education Programme Manager at the Innovation Centre approached the Scottish Games Network to ask for help in finding volunteers to help.
Volunteers from across the games sector are welcome. Whether it’s to share their career journey, help the students understand more about game design, development, or tools, or to support the students on a more technical level.
The Gaming For Good programme starts on May 8th 2022 and runs weekly from 16:30 – 18:00. The programme ends with a game jam on June 21st.
If you would like more information on the club, or are interested in volunteering, please contact the innovation centre team directly.
Kelly told the Scottish Games Network:
With this programme, we will provide a free opportunity for girls in S1-S3 to explore the games industry in Scotland. This ‘Girls Only’ session will provide a safe space for girls to explore video game design, supported by a team of female volunteers. We aim to provide positive female representation in tech careers.
We will support the development of vital digital skills allowing attendees to create and build their own video games that raise awareness about a cause that is important to them in the world, using gaming as a platform for good.
Girls will explore the different stages involved in progressing from idea to prototype of their video game; including character design, thinking about managing the difficulty level for the player, and the logic behind the scenes that makes the game work.
It may come to a surprise to some that Hearts has a digital innovation centre. However, the club has firmly established it as an integral part of its programme to support the fan base and wider surrounding community.
Founded in 2019, the Heart of Midlothian FC Innovation Centre (sponsored by Baillie Gifford and powered by Dell Technologies), provides hardware, software and equipment to the local community. It also runs a range of courses to help people across the city to learn new digital skills, or find a career in technology.
The presence of the Innovation Centre becomes a little less surprising when you discover that Ann Budge, the owner of the club, is a technology entrepreneur and business leader, with a passion for supporting new talent.
The link with the club also helps attract young people who may not otherwise engage with digital technology through school or at home.
The innovation centre has run multiple clubs focused on everything from ecommerce, to app creation, so the introduction of a games-specific programme – and one which is designed specifically for girls and non-binary young people is a valuable new addition to the routes into the games industry in Scotland.
If you know someone who would like to take part in the Gaming For Good programme starting in May, they can sign up here.