SGa 16 conference interview

SGA 16_talk'

The Swedish Game Awards got off to a flyer on April 1. A series of talks and and game exhibition designed to kick off the carousel of events all culminating in the Swedish Game Awards proper later in the year took place at Citykonferensen in Stockholm. This was a grand departure from last years venue and I reached out to SGA project manager Alexander Milton to find out why..

How did the decision to move the conference to Citykonferensen come about and how did it impact the customary dual track format?
Right, so by organizing the conference at Citykonferensen over two days we could provide a more valuable experience for all the attending. We wanted everyone to have the opportunity to participate in all the content, because all of it was relevant and valuable for pretty much everyone, including the exhibiting students. Rather than forcing them to choose between different talks, panels or whether to mingle or exhibit, we created a schedule that allowed for all of those things. Citykonferensen themselves was an amazing venue, though smaller than some of previous years’. We were assisted with all our technical and logistical needs, it was adapted for disabled attendants and allowed for separated mingle and exhibition spaces as well as good food served only a floor away.

What other changes can we expect as SGA moves into the competition phase?
A few details that are slightly different from previous years will be a larger focus on even younger developers. We have visited a few second upper (gymnasie) schools and checked out their projects and processes. We hope that more of these students will decide to participate in the competition with their, least to say, ambitious projects. There will also be a continue focus on diversity and equality, topics in grave need of discussion these days. We will continue to promote the award for best Diversity Effort as well as create a more open dialogue with Diversi to create an inviting and tolerant setting for this year’s SGA activities. Another thing is the jury, which previous year’s have consisted of the sponsors of the organization. This year, we want to handpick the jury straight from the industry to ensure a diverse and fair representation of individuals judging in the competition.

What speakers were your personal highlights?
In our opinion, all speakers did an amazing job inspiring and teaching the attendants all the lessons of the industry. Perhaps particularly appreciated were the panels that concluded each conference day. The Friday panel, consisting of Albertina Sparrhult, Anna Jenelius, Jonatan Crafoord and Annika Fogelgren discussing how to solve issues around the lack diversity and equality in the game industry even received a few standing ovations. The Saturday panel, consisting of Tommy Palm, Patrick Liu, Madeleine von Post and Johannes Wadin discussing how to get a job in the game industry, also managed to really reach out and inspire the attendants. Trying to move the members of the panel to the other end of the venue for a photo was near impossible with all the people wanting to talk to them.

What’s next on the SGA calendar?
Closing in on the competition, we will do our best to arrange for activities where students can earn further experience as game developers. This includes a game jam in Stockholm with Rovio some time in April or May.

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