As you know, Femme Gaming always keeps their finger on the pulse of the gaming and esports worlds. Not only as an active and inclusive grassroots community, but in a diverse-minded growth perspective.
With the rapid growth of these industries comes the similar growth of the education sector with more and more programs geared toward a variety of careers in the field. Those opportunities are plenty and vary from marketing and HR to game design and media production. They also often require formal education to succeed.
At Mohawk College, based in Hamilton, Ontario, the industry’s growth has translated into two brand new and exciting programs at their Creative Industries faculty.
Starting this September, the Game Design Advanced Diploma program aims to train the next generation of game developers and artists with courses ranging from Game History and Design Fundamentals to Asset Development and Level Design. Additionally, in September 2024, the Esports Administration Diploma is geared more towards business-minded individuals, with courses like financial management, production, marketing, communication, and more.
As you can imagine, months of hard work go into developing new programs like these. The team at Mohawk College’s Creative Industries faculty, led by Associate Dean Dr. Lisa Funnell, made sure to reach out to multiple different community partners and collaborators when building the programs and their respective courses.
Professor Andrew Fedurko, the program coordinator for the new Esports Administration program, says that the collaboration has been exciting. While he knew the industry was shockful of opportunities, he was still surprised by just how diverse they are: “A lot of people are unaware of what an esports academic program is going to look like, and we are actually more focused on the business side of things. We want to prepare people to come and learn about not just what the industry is, not just what esports is, but what you can be within it.”
To gain a perspective on diversity, equity, and inclusivity, they reached out to Femme Gaming, which began our ongoing partnership. Funnell describes those collaborations as a “meeting of the minds,” where open conversation has helped them understand how to make their collective goals achievable. For Dr. Lisa, hard and soft skills go hand in hand to building healthy and productive teams: “EDI is not just a moral or ethical imperative, it also makes great business sense. My goal is to build out and help to train the next generation of ethical and inclusive creators.”
In the end, those consultations had an impact not only on the new programs, but also over the whole faculty: the Accessibility Centre also benefited from that process, explains Dr. Lisa, and the faculty’s staff received extra training during the summer to be up to date on EDIissues.
“I wanted to approach it from the perspective of being a lifelong learner,” she explains. “We’ve all been taught to think things about ourselves, other people in the world around us. But those ideas are not set in stone; we can unlearn certain things, and we can learn more meaningful ways to engage with each other. We might be marginalised in some ways in our lives, but we should also serve as allies for other people in different respects as well. It’s about balancing sort of privilege and disadvantage, and recognizing that we can bring everybody up together.”
Diversity and inclusivity are part of Femme Gaming’s core mission, and we’re excited to be able to partner with Dr. Lisa and Mohawk College to push it further. Femme Gaming founder Jessica Medeiros believes education is a key element in ensuring a future for women and gender-diverse individuals in esports and gaming, as well as other marginalised communities. After all, diversity reaches far beyond only gender identity or race and ethnicity; it encapsulates many other communities, including disabled and neurodivergent individuals, Native communities, and language minorities.
Femme Gaming is proud to have Mohawk College as an Educational Partner, and grateful for Mohawk College’s support in our activities. Check out these fun photos from FanExpo Canada, where Mohawk College was a main sponsor of our Femme Gaming Lounge.