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  • MassDiGI's Virtual Expo: Welcome To DevConnect

    [04.23.20]
    - Timothy Loew
  • We were at PAX East when news broke about GDC's postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic and our first thought was about all the college and university students we knew - many of whom we had just seen on the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center's show floor - who would be impacted. GDC is a critically important and irreplaceable annual event for many game industry professionals and it is no less so for many students and recent graduates looking to break into the industry.


    Our organization, the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), is campus-based in the Barrett Center at Becker College and as a result we do a lot of work with students from that institution as well as dozens of others in New England, across the country and around the world so we felt a responsibility to create something that could offer them some value and help take a little of the sting out of the situation.

    After kicking around some ideas, Monty Sharma, our managing director, landed on one with the goal of giving students a virtual opportunity to interact with game industry professionals in a setting that would foster the kind of positive connections that are so valuable, just like what they might have experienced at GDC.

    Our first step was to put out a call out to non-local friends in the game industry for help. Luckily, in addition to our work with students, we also work with many startups, established studios and publishers so we felt our industry network would respond positively - and it sure did.

    Our second step was to identify a small team of student volunteers who would help us pull it all together and get organized.

    Our third step was to reach out to the coordinators at IGDA Scholars to see if our idea might be something they'd like to offer to their community.

    Lastly, we dubbed the effort DevConnect, a virtual networking event.

    "This is a hard time for everyone," said Sharma. "And, it is inspiring to see so many busy professionals taking the time to help young people just getting started."

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