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Each month we will be providing insights into the eSports industry, helping to connect, educate, and inspire you as you move from amateur to professional.
Georgia High School Esports Invitational (GHSEI)
PCX GO! hosted its 2nd Annual Georgia High School eSports Invitational (GHSeI)
The invitational targeted K-12 students, their families, as well as the gaming and cosplay communities in and around the metro-Atlanta area to expose and engage K-12 participants to the entry points into and pathways through the eSports ecosystem.
Attendees played and competed for a chance to win various prize packages including scholarships, grants, etc.
Attendees also had the opportunity to talk with industry professionals such as Alan Wilson, VP of Tripwire Interactive, and Andrew Greenberg, President of the Georgia Game Developers Association (GGDA), about their journey into their careers and the pathways they took to get there.
Another major feature was The Technology Talent Recruitment Pipeline (TTPR) Expo (hosted by the Social Change Youth Foundation) and the Gamer U. This exposition showed attendees a firsthand look at the industry at work and explored its business structure and community with companies such as Microsoft, Punk Black, GSPAN and SSEF in attendance.
Participants also attended workshops where they learned earn the basic tools needed to create their own comic book superhero and take their story concept from development of the fictional world to visual panel styling, as well as explored the world of virtual and augmented reality and developed and tested a simple app!
Gamers gathered to free play with friends and watch teams compete in Paladins, Brawlhalla, Rocket League, Hearthstone & Fortnite
Women Creating a Brighter Future for Gaming
According to the ESA’s 2017 report, over 40 percent of gamers are women, but as the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) found the split of women in development is a little over 20 percent.
Kimberly Wallace’s article in Game Informer exemplifies the necessity of diversity and creating a more inclusive environment. Initiatives are on the rise to help young girls and professional women embrace their passion and expand their presence.
It starts with shaping young minds and letting them learn about these potential careers at an early age through initiatives such as Girls Make Games which use camps, workshops, and game jams to inspire and support the next generation.
While discussing women’s expanded presence in the industry, you have to also look at actual game content and the importance of well-developed characters. Having good role models in games is powerful and important for both young girls and boys to grow up seeing strong women in games as a norm.
The industry as a whole is working to help make the transition into video games much smoother
with more programs and mentorships than ever before aimed at changing perceptions and increasing visibility. Initiatives such as Amplifying New Voices, GirlsBehindTheGames, and Facebook’s Women In Gaming all showcase women in leadership roles in the industry aimed at inspiring young women to pursue careers in the video game industry.
Be sure to read Kimberly Wallace’s full article here.
We PLAY Eleague
PCX is proud to announce the launch of it's eLeague, We PLAY eLeague!
It all started when PCX founders, Erich (an educator) and Dr. Jakita (a computer scientist), decided to pursue their passion of games and eSports for youth of color. Looking for a home and finding none, they formed Pharaoh's Conclave (PCX), where people of color could unite under the banner of esports.
They started out focused on helping people of color identify the entry points into the gaming and eSports ecosystem. But what would they do once they got there? They realized something more was needed, so they started hosting workshops, panels, and demonstrations.
Once they helped illuminate those entry points, they focused on helping people of color navigate pathways through the industry, connecting them to professionals to better understand the road less traveled. They brought the best of PCX together (team gameplay, pop-up tourneys, cosplay, game design, comic books, shout casting, etc.) for the 1st GHSEI at DreamHack Atlanta in July 2017.
Reflecting on their journey, they noticed two things. First, there are no black or brown teams. Second, there are no black or brown eLeagues.
Out of their passion, We PLAY Eleague was born. The ONLY eLeague by people of color for people of color.
Supporting eSports enthusiasts of color. Powered by PCX. Welcome to We PLAY Eleague!
Also stay tuned for our We PLAY Eleague Spotlight feature, where we will be showcasing some of our amazing players starting next month with Todderick Rapley!
Sign up now for our 2018 - 2019 season matchups held every 1st Sunday from 5pm - 8pm at VS Realm eSports Arena.
Only $5 to compete. Multiple game matchups available.
More info at https://www.weplayesports.net/
Esports Startups, Leagues, and Tournaments in Atlanta You Should Know About
According to the Georgia Department of Community and Economic Development, Atlanta ranks in the top 10 for best cities for gamers and best place to work and live as a gamer and developer.
There are more than 110 active game studios in the state, according to Georgia Game Developers Association.
To give you an idea of how Atlanta is gearing up for the esports wave, here is a list of esports related startups, leagues and tournaments in the city you should know about.
Dragon Con is an annual Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention held in Atlanta over Labor Day Weekend. Dragon Con started in 1987 as an outgrowth of a local SF and gaming group, the Dragon Alliance of Gamers and Role-Players.
Over the years, the convention has grown to cover more than just Science Fiction, Fantasy, and gaming. Besides those original programming tracks, Dragon Con now covers over 30 additional areas of interest.
Key events at Dragon Con include several Cosplay Contests, including the Masquerade, Independent films, dealer rooms, art show, and of course, the famous Dragon Con Parade. Growing in size from the 1,400 people attending the inaugural 1987 event to over 80,000 at recent events, Dragon Con has a long history of being the greatest Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention.
PCX Founder, Jakita O. Thomas, Ph.D. was a featured panelist at the first-ever Diversity Track at Dragon Con 2018. She'll be featured in the following panels:
Gamer Girls, Programmers, and STEAM - Sunday @ 1pm
From the Workshop to the Desktop - Sunday @ 5:30pm
Multimedia Writing - Monday @ 11:30am
Indie Corner: Healing Spaces
A game like no other: Healing Spaces, developed by Gabriela Gomes, targets Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.
Healing Spaces is physical, sensory experience for older adults living with dementia and their caregivers.
The Healing Spaces iOS app works together with the Philips Hue smart lights and allows caregivers to take persons with dementia to different ecosystems and worlds through light, colors, sounds and visuals, extending the virtual experience into the physical space. The digital experiences are also paired with themed sensory boxes that address the senses of touch and smell.
Healing Spaces focuses on the design of sensory experiences that may address the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, and also serve as a toolkit for caregivers to better manage and conduct sensory-based activities.
For more information about Gabriela and Healing Spaces, be sure to check out her website.
Tragedy struck the gaming community Sunday afternoon when a champion gamer’s decision to open fire at a Madden NFL 19 qualifying tournament at GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun) Game Bar in Jacksonville, FL—killing two people and injuring ten others before killing himself.
David “Bread” Katz won other Madden tournaments in 2017 and traveled from Baltimore to compete — only to be eliminated, witnesses said. But Katz wasn’t done. As his competitors continued to game Sunday, Katz got a handgun and clearly targeted other competitive gamers, walking past patrons in other parts of the restaurant and opening fire in a back room. Horrified fans watched the violence unfold on a livestream online.
Friends, family and fans mourn victims of Madden Jacksonville shooting-- Eli ‘TrueBoy’ Clayton and Taylor ‘SpotMeplzzz’ Robertson. Clayton, 22, and Robertson, 27, were both prominent members of the competitive Madden NFL community and were beloved by fans, and other competitors in the gaming space.
Eli "trueboy" Clayton
Clayton was a former member of the Calabasas High School football team in California is described as “one of the best in competitive Madden,” and a “frequent face in EA Majors.” Clayton boasted a 40 percent win rate, according to his EA Madden profile.
"Elijah's family wants you to know that he was a good man. He did not believe in violence. He never even had a fistfight. He loved football and out of all the video games he could play -- he settled and mastered Madden. He made a good living gaming and he saved his earnings so he can afford to go to college to continue his education."
Taylor "spotmeplzzz" Robertson
Robertson, who was from West Virginia, had career winnings of more than $80,000 and had won the Madden NFL 17 Classic is described as “one of the toughest opponents in competitive Madden”, according to his player profile on EA Sports. Robertson also was a first team all-state football and basketball player.
A vigil was held at the school Monday, where Robertson's friend Andrew Evans told WVNS-TV he was a couple of years younger than the star athlete so he looked up to him as a hero and that, "he was the most humble human being to have the abilities and the talents that he did."
As the game community bands together to mourn the loss of two of their own, there’s an additional underlying sadness that this resulted from a fellow gamer. It goes against everything that is the gaming community and strikes a cord with gamers everywhere. Gaming culture as a whole is full of wonderful giving, loving people with so many in this community who just want to help.
The Madden NFL publisher Electronic Sports released the following statement:
The entire gaming community has spent much of the past couple of days online coming to terms with the violence that unfolded in Jacksonville:
Tony Montagnino, "G-Tech," was one of the victms shot, said he was struck twice in the lower body: "One went through. The other was lodged," Montagnino tweeted. "Still doesn't feel real. Saw a lot of things today I wish I hadn't seen. But I also saw a community of people rally around each other and a massive amount of support from friends and family to check on everyone. I'm thankful for everyone of you guys in the community. I love y'all."
This Will Not Define Us
"This will not define us." That's the message that the Jacksonville gaming community is sending out.
"We don't want to see this being what defines us," said founder and president of GAAM, Ryan Paul Daniels, in a Facebook Live Sunday night. (GAAM, or Games Arts And Music, defines itself as a culture company that throws events revolving around video games and "tries to bridge the gap between the gaming and non-gaming audience," according to its Facebook page.)
He described the gaming community as a close, tight-knit friendly and supportive group.
"A majority of my friends, I wouldn't have if it wasn't for this [gaming] community," he said in the hour-long broadcast. "This is a group of great people ... This is a group of people who don't judge one another, who care for one another, who support one another."
Daniels also said Sunday's events may have scared the gaming community. "We're all afraid now, he said. "We're afraid of where we are going to go to be with each other. We're afraid of what the media is going to say about us."
Even so, Daniels told his fellow gamers to stand up against those fears.
"It's ok to be afraid. It's what we do in the face of fear that will define us," he said. "I think, we're all standing together in this. Standing up to this fear shows what kind of people that we are. We're the people that will stand strong together. We're the kind of people that will love one another."
United We Stand
As a gamer and a member of this community, this tragedy affects me very deeply. I am both bereaved and enraged that this incident was the result from a fellow gamer. For me, this community means acceptance. It means family. It means home.
These gamers gathered together to celebrate their love of gaming and compete with their fellow community members and never once anticipated that one of them would turn violent against them.
It also upsetting that during this tumultuous time in our country where people are already looking toward video games as the reasoning behind gun violence, that a gamer would do this. This tragedy will only aide in the crusade against violence and video games, which is a topic that I do want to discuss but out of respect to the victims, I will touch upon that in a future point in time.
I know this has deeply shaken our community as we regather our bearings. Tragedy unites more than it divides and gamers will be talking about this for a long time. Together we will continue to stand strong, support one another, and continue to use games for change.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Pharaoh’s Conclave (PCX)
Content & Community Manager
Follow me on Twitter/IG: @brittregay
"I am a gamer not because I don't have a life, but because I choose to have many."
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