This is an article series of stories about the GDC Scholar experiences in March 2023.
"GGJ gave me a place in the industry, transmitted to me its values of collaboration and camaraderie, surrounded me with beautiful people and opened many doors for me."
29 years old Débora Theaux from Córdoba, Argentina was one of the Global Game Jam Scholarship recipients for GDC 2023. She's been Site Organizer and support since 2018, and she works as a Game Programmer and a Teacher.
"I'm very passionate about games and game developers community, I have given classes, talks and workshops in different universities, colleges, communities and private institutions about Game Industry and programming with Unity Engine. And currently I want to start my own videogame company."
Débora applied for the scholarship because in Latin America, although having their events and activities related to the video game industry, they do not have enough contacts and references to make the community grow.
"At the GGJ Mixer, I told Susan Gold and Charly Harbord that the GGJ is the only organization that truly supports any developer, regardless of countries. Access to being part of the GGJ community and receiving support is really easy and equal for anyone anywhere in the world. My objective in the GDC was to network, generate contacts and talk about the importance of including Latino referents in companies and organizations in the same way that GGJ does. An example of this problem is the non-existence of a Unity Engine Latino advocacy, which in previous years has been helpful. In addition, the possibility of acquiring new knowledge and learning about new tools/hardware/software to bring that knowledge to my community.
My experience at GDC opened my mind in general. On the one hand, I was able to meet in person many people that I admire (such as the GGJ team and its previous directors), which really moved me a lot. And on the other hand, seeing the immensity of the event and the amount of people immersed in the industry, I felt like an ant (but in a good way haha). Many people to meet, many companies that I did not know, many opportunities and different ways to access the industry. All attendees are willing to generate connections. It was excellent."Susan and Débora
As key learnings from the conference Débora mentions interest in everything related to XR. She could see that a large part of the business, programming and mixer talks were focused on the use of this technology. Therefore, Débora decided to learn more about it so that later she could, on the one hand, start her own business and, on the other hand, be able to transmit this new knowledge to other developers through the GGJ Córdoba headquarters.
"Also, I was very impressed by the alt.ctrl games that are an excellent activity to combine robotics with videogames and explore creativity, ideal for doing a workshop of the style. Another talk that touched my soul was the experimental games, the games they showed motivated me to want to tell my story through a narrative videogame."
Débora tells that meeting the other GGJ community members was really fun, and she made several new friends.
"We share ideas and show each other games that were made in the different venues. It was also nice to meet the GGJ Team. Susan Gold is a rockstar! hahaha Despite my "block" to speak in English, I was able to communicate and contribute to the different conversations that took place.
I met also Charly and Zain. They were both very kind to me. Charly is a person who spreads a lot of positive energy, I adore her. I also met Tim, he is very nice!"Charly and Débora Zain and Débora
"Not to get emotional, but it's impossible not to. I think it is important to share this with you, so that you can measure the impact that GGJ generates in Latino developers like me. Weeks prior to the GDC, I came from a very strong emotional downturn in terms of work, due to the low capacity for managing human relations in many of the companies in which I have worked. I went to GDC with the last savings I had, betting that I was going to find a different world and that's how it was, many people sharing the same values, their stories and their experiences.
Knowing that one is not alone and that there are a lot of people out there to relate to and generate quality professional links. It was really motivating to continue building this dream and to continue having the necessary motivation and strength to help others pursue their goals. I know that not everything is perfect, but it is good to know that you can be better."
"GGJ is the only community that is truly accessible to anyone in the world and what you have achieved in all these years is incredible, you really have a positive impact on the industry, you are something different. I want to acknowledge the effort GGJ made to keep this entire structure running and I want you to know that thanks to you, since 2018, my life has changed a lot. I don't say this lightly, GGJ gave me a place in the industry, transmitted to me its values of collaboration and camaraderie, surrounded me with beautiful people and opened many doors for me, as well as the possibility of going to GDC."
Find Débora on:
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