Blogs

  • 25 Sep 2018 by DigiBC

    The WXR Venture Fund invests in VR/AR/MR startups that are committed to having balanced gender representation. WXR also provides community infrastructure to support women leaders in immersive tech and will invest in early-stage startups with at least one female founder or at least 50% women on the leadership team. Their investment thesis is rooted in both social and economic impact and aims to help build a more inclusive industry from the ground up, as well as leverage the unique economic opportunity that current demographic imbalances create. Their robust community programming, including pitch showcases, a curated mentor program, educational content, and media partnerships, is designed to amplify the impact of the investments by elevating and accelerating their portfolio companies.    


    When was the WXR Fund set up?
    Work started on it in mid-2017 and they hosted their first pitch showcase in January 2018.


    Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
    The three founding partners are Martina Welkhoff, Malia Probst and Abby Albright. Martina is a serial entrepreneur who started her first company in mobile gaming and moved into virtual reality after that company was acquired. Malia is a partner at VRScout, a leading media platform focused on immersive technology. Abby was an early employee at DAQRI, one of the first augmented reality headsets, and is currently completing an MBA at Wharton.  

     

    What was the motivation for setting this up?
    As they move toward the next major computing paradigm, there is a transformational opportunity to build a more inclusive industry from the ground up. These leaders will have a profound impact on what spatial computing becomes. Everything from the products they create, the teams they build, and the way they reinvest their wealth will forever change the technology landscape. The optimal time to make lasting change is during these early days where the industry is forming and norms are being established.


    Who can benefit from this fund?
    Bold women founders in immersive technology and people who value diversity.


    Where can someone find out more information on the WXR Fund? 
    http://wxrfund.com
    https://twitter.com/wxrfund

     

     

     

  • 23 Sep 2018 by DigiBC

    The Vancouver International Film Festival extends its mission of celebrating excellence in screen-based storytelling with the launch of VIFF Immersed. Dedicated to exceptional narrative storytelling in VR/AR/MR, VIFF Immersed will host a two-day conference program where art, technology, and business will intersect. Plus, the three-day public exhibition offers fans firsthand engagement with immersive experiences that are re-imagining storytelling.

     

    VIFF Immersed Conference: September 29 + 30

    New Realities in Storytelling is designed to connect BC immersive content creators with key industry decision makers and creators making work that demonstrates high artistic execution and commercial viability. The conference presents top creators, executives and case studies speaking on content creation, production technologies and distribution.

    BC Immersed is a day of high-value workshops for producers, directors, technologists and content commissioners wishing to understand multiple aspects of immersive production including image capture, production workflow and live 360 broadcasting and more. Top experts in these areas will deliver interactive workshops and BC Showcase presentations will focus on immersive content created by BC-based companies and creators.

    Conference passes can be purchased here - https://viff.org/Online/2018-viff-immersed

     

    VIFF Immersed Exhibition: September 29 - October 2

    Presented by Samsung VR Video, this is a three-day public, VIFFticketed exhibition featuring VR, AR and MR experiences staged on a wide range of immersive technology platforms. It celebrates the best of storytelling; showcases some of today’s most important creators, platforms and technologies; and represents the current state of this burgeoning industry.

    Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased here - https://viff.org/Online/fs429-immersed-exhibition

     

     

  • 06 Sep 2018 by DigiBC

    The Game UX Summit is taking place in Vancouver from September 26-28 and this is open to anyone in the video game industry. Its purpose is to allow game user experience professionals and advocates to discuss the current state of UX in the industry, share best practices, and spread the love for compelling experiences. The summit brings together renowned speakers from various UX-related disciplines: Human Factors, Human-Computer Interaction, Design, Art, User Research, Analytics, and Business Intelligence, among others. Electronic Arts is thrilled to be the game company this year who will be taking the lead on fostering the discipline and raising the bar on creating amazing UX for players.

    Register for the Game UX Summit here. 

    *Current DigiBC members are eligible for an exclusive discount on registration. Please contact us for further details by emailing team@digibc.org

     
    Keynotes:

    * Erin Hoffman-John - Research and Development at Google, Chief Designer at Sense of Wonder

    * Margaret Wallace – Chief Executive Officer, KijiCo & Co-Founder, Playmatics

     

    Speakers:

    Aleksandar Dimitrijevic - Game UX Researcher, Nordeus

    Ania Rodriguez – CEO, Key Lime Interactive

    Carlos Figueiredo - Director, Community Trust & Safety, Two Hat Security & Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member, Fair Play Alliance

    George Kalmpourtzis, Principal Designer, Infinitivity Design Labs

    Jami Lukins – Technical Designer, Bungie

    Jennifer Ash – UX Designer, Bungie

    Keith Knight - AKA Aieron, Game Accessibility Advocate and User

    Laura Teeples - Workflow UX Designer, 343 Industries

    Matt Dombrowski - Assistant Professor SVAD UCF & Affiliate Faculty/Art Lead at Limbitless Solutions

    Melissa Canseliet - UX Strategist, Ubisoft

    Milad Haji Hassan - Hardware and Software developer, Neil Squire Society

    Mike Ambinder - Principal Experimental Psychologist, Valve

    Nicolas Eypert, Creative Director, The GameDesign Trust

    Orvar Halldorsson - UI/UX Director, Bungie

    Peter Smith - Affiliate Faculty, UCF, Game Design Lead Limbitless Solutions

    Rachel Leiker - Lead UI/UX Designer, Hardsuit Labs

    Robin-Yann Storm – Tools Designer, Guerrilla Games

    Shao-Yu Chen - Associate UX Researcher and Ania Rodriguez, CEO, Key Lime Interactive

    Stephan Dube – Lead UI/UX Artist, Survios

    Tanya Short - Creative Director, Kitfox Games

    Tom Lorusso - Sr. UX Research Lead, Microsoft

    Vanessa Hemovich - Associate Professor of Psychology, DigiPen Institute of Technology

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 24 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Calling all B.C. immersive creators! The Vancouver International Film Festival is looking for VR, AR, and MR experiences from creators in the province for their VIFF Immersed Exhibition. Submissions are now open and will be accepted until Monday, September 3. This could be your chance to be featured alongside some of the best XR storytelling of 2018 at VIFF Immersed.

    To find out more details you can click the following link or the image below - https://viff.org/Online/2018-viff-immersed

     
     
     
  • 23 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    The 45th SIGGRAPH conference concluded last Thursday with over 16,500 attendees from 88 countries including Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the USA. DigiBC was on hand for the jam-packed week where close to 700 papers, courses, lectures, installations, and artworks were shared, along with almost 1,000 speakers participating.

     

    DigiBC’s Executive Director, Brenda Bailey, moderating the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium at the Vancouver Convention Centre
    Photos credit: Melissa Dex Guzman

     

    Things kicked off with the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium taking place on August 11 & 12. The was an incredible two days that had the most diverse set of speakers and participants (237 people from 22 countries) exploring the past, present, and future of computer graphics. A fascinating range of topics were explored including big data, machine learning, AI, and emerging business models. DigiBC's Executive Director, Brenda Bailey, was in attendance and did a wonderful job as the MC and panel moderator. Congratulations to the organizers who did an excellent job - Adele Newton, Angela Pan, Cam Wind, Chase Denomme, Elaine He, Jessica Glass, Kial Natale, Melissa Dex Guzman, Patrick Pennefather, Paul Salvini, Ross Waring, Shirin Escarcha, Vivian Tang, and all the CDM volunteers.

     

     

    The Exhibition played host to nearly 160 companies showcasing the latest technologies, products, and services. Remarkably, nearly one-quarter of the exhibitors were presenting for the first time due to the dramatic increase in the amount of new technology. In addition, attendees got to see installations from around the world in the Experience Hall and the brand-new Immersive Pavilion, which featured a VR museum, Vrcade, Village, and the Computer Animation Festival VR Theater.

    The conference was the most successful edition in Vancouver yet and attendees enjoyed an incredible week full of inspiration and learning. In case you’re wondering, the date for SIGGRAPH 2019 has already been set so mark your calendars for July 28-August 1 in Los Angeles!

     

     


     

  • 23 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    DigiBC partnered with the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology (JTT) and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea to put on a complimentary event to SIGGRAPH called the 2018 British Columbia – Korea Digital Games Driving Computer Graphics Seminar. This took place on August 14 and Norton Rose Fulbright generously hosted us at their beautiful sky garden in the TELUS building downtown. We ended up with a fantastic turnout and had a nice mix of Korean and Canadian companies on hand to discuss collaboration and accessing global markets. During the networking segment, there were many active conversations taking place so don't be surprised if you soon start seeing some new business opportunities arising in both Korea and BC!


    To learn more about BC Trade + Investment office in Seoul, click here.

     

     

  • 22 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Education Update

    DigiBC is devoted to ensuring the creative tech sector (video games, animation, VFX and AR/VR) continues to grow and thrive in our province. To do this, it is absolutely clear that we need to garner the interest of homegrown talent. How do we do that? With your help! DigiBC has two major initiatives launching this year - Music in Games and Animation and an expansion of the Play to Learn program.
    Our Music in Games and Animation initiative is geared towards reaching every grade eight student in the province (all 46,000)! We will be sharing stories of how folks in the industry found their career path – by creating videos and presenting in person. Digi on the Road will then see us taking industry professionals to many communities in the province with the goal of getting students excited about the potential for work in our sector.

    We are also planning to hold a competition in spring 2019. This involves studios providing clips from video games and animated film/TV shows, and then explaining by video what they are looking for. Once a student has selected a clip, they will then be invited to create an original score that sets the correct tone and message to go with it. We will work with music teachers throughout the province to select the top entries, and winners will then get to tour the studio who provided the clip that they scored.

    If you are interested in providing materials for this, being interviewed, or participating with Digi on the Road, please contact brenda@digibc.org.

     


    Play to Learn is an EA digital education initiative that teaches kids to code and is currently used in more than 50 classrooms in the Lower Mainland. Developed in partnership with EverFiPlay to Learn offers online gaming and simulations to engage middle and high school students on a number of topics including binary numbers, scientific notation, the Pythagorean Theorem, probability, and basic coding languages. The course modules are designed to reinforce the real-world application of these skills while getting students interested and excited in new career fields. In fall 2018, we will launch this program to over 60 new schools across 11 districts from Vancouver Island to Prince George!
    Education is a primary focus for DigiBC and we are delighted to have partnered with the Ministry of Education, Electronic Arts, the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture to be able to deliver these high-quality, life-changing initiatives. Exciting times ahead!


    Brenda Bailey
    Executive Director
    DigiBC


    Government Relations Update

    DigiBC is working for our members and meeting with elected officials and government representatives to ensure the success of our sector in the province. Here are some of the initiatives that we now have underway.
     

    2019 IDMTC Recommendations
    Did you know that Alberta has created a comprehensive digital strategy that focuses on growing their digital sector by 3,000 people? In March 2018 they announced the creation of a 25% IDMTC (Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit). There is an additional 5% for traditionally underrepresented team members – women and minorities. In addition to creating a competitive tax credit, the Growth and Diversification Act is designed to stimulate growth across sectors to create more jobs, economic diversification, and training for the high tech sector.

    Alberta’s act aims to:

    • create 3,000 new tech spaces in post-secondary institutions
    • invest in new scholarships and programs to support a high-tech workforce
    • launch an Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit
    • continue support for the existing Alberta investor and capital investment tax credit programs
    • strengthen Alberta’s ties with the unmanned aerial systems sector
       

    I am concerned that this is a threat to creative technology jobs in BC. It is apparent to me that our neighbours to the east would like to woo some of our sector over the Rockies. How do we counter this? At 17.5%, BC’s IDMTC is currently the lowest in the country, making us particularly vulnerable to this move by Alberta.

     


    DigiBC is recommending the provincial government increase our IDMTC to 25% across all IDM. Furthermore, we recommend an additional 10% incentive to those studios working outside of the Metro Vancouver and Victoria regional districts. An incentive for regional diversification is not only good for smaller cities and towns in the province, it meets the need we hear from a number of member companies who have employees wanting to settle where the cost of living is more conducive to raising a family.  This, in turn, could alleviate some of the housing stress in our urban centers. We will be presenting these recommendations in September in order to have them duly considered for the 2019 provincial budget.


    Brenda Bailey
    Executive Director
    DigiBC
     

  • 17 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Capcom was founded in 1979 in Osaka, Japan by businessman, Kenzo Tsujimoto. In 2010, Capcom Vancouver was established when they acquired Blue Castle Games. Since then, the studio has been the home of Capcom's award-winning hit franchise, Dead Rising, having put out DR2, DR3, and DR4. In 2017 they also released a mobile game called Puzzle Fighter.

     


    Based out of their newly launched award-winning studio in Burnaby, which happens to be one of the largest studios in Canada, they have built a talented and passionate team of developers who are working on the next generation of games. They are always pushing themselves into new frontiers by combining their signature standard of quality with the experience of their dev teams. Seeking to deliver high-quality entertainment and having a motto of never settling for ‘good enough’ are two key factors in their company culture.

     


    Unfortunately, they are not able to divulge what projects they are currently working now, but you can probably bet it’s something innovative that will be new and groundbreaking. Capcom Vancouver strives to provide rewarding career development opportunities and is always looking for talented people. To see if you might fit in, you can check out their current openings.

     

    Fun Fact: Did you know that the name Capcom is a clipped compound of "Capsule Computers"? It’s a term coined by the company to describe the arcade machines it solely manufactured in its early years, designed to set themselves apart from personal computers that were becoming widespread at that time.

     

     

     

    Want to be featured in the DigiBC newsletter? We chose to highlight a member company each month to help keep the games, animation, and visual effects space in BC connected. Let us know if you’d like to be featured! It’s a great way to reach potential talent and network your studio (free and available to members only). Please email us at team@digibc.org

     

  • 15 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Vancouver Startup Week is a celebration of community and it strives to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and friends for one engaging week, commemorating Greater Vancouver's innovation and technology communities.

    During VSW, organizations in the startup community host events at their offices, community-centered spaces, and hospitality venues around the city. One event partner may have an intimate talk at their office featuring a nuanced discussion on a specific technological breakthrough. Another may host an evening event attracting 400+ people to a local venue featuring company demos, panel discussions, and a networking reception. Either way, the VSW team works with event partners, sponsors, and marketing partners to provide support, spread the word, and make sure all attendees get to experience VSW at its best.

    VSW events are organized by dozens of amazing community partners which in turn are supported by the Vancouver Startup Society. They strive to have as many events as possible covered under one centralized, low-cost access pass to help participants enjoy the benefits of VSW with minimized logistical hassles.   

     

    Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.

     

     

     

     

  • 15 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    The Animation and VFX (A&VFX) Group of BC is a new collaborative structure that was launched in July 2018, powered by both MPPIA and DigiBC. This is a joint membership that provides animation and visual effects studios the ability to be involved in both trade associations without having to pay twice. The A&VFX Group will have representation on the boards of both MPPIA and DigiBC (depending on the level of membership) and continue to partner and align with CMPA.
    We are all devoted to ensuring studios experience value for their membership, and we know that a shared voice and vision for the creative tech sector in our province is the strongest way to ensure our mutual objectives are met. This group was established to ensure interests are being represented and simply put, we are stronger together.

     

    For more information, contact Brenda at brenda@digibc.org

     

     

     

     

  • 14 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Capstone brings companies together with the UBC fourth year electrical and computer engineering teams to design a technological solution to a significant challenge. It was launched in 2014 in a strategic effort to integrate design into these programs and to expose the students to real-world, open-ended problems. The course addresses the following three objectives:

     

    • Engage industry and community partners by creating an opportunity for them to work with the next cohort of graduate students, and to explore how emerging technologies can further their organization's goals.
    • Allow students the freedom to apply their skills to a project of their preference and to launch their careers through a partnership with a client.
    • Develop students' professional skills in technical writing, communication, and teamwork. 

     

     

    Capstone attracts a wide range of companies and organizations such as BX Hydro and MDA to not-for-profits and public organizations such as the Neil Squire Society and BC Children's Hospital. It also covers a wide range of sectors from construction and IT networking to education. A showcase of previous project videos can be viewed here.


    The Capstone course runs from September to April and the Electrical and Computer Engineering department provides each project with a budget of up to $650. Students also have free access to design labs as well as specialized equipment and software. Clients are encouraged to cover any additional projects costs, but there is also a process to receive additional funds from the department. Proposals must be submitted by September 3, 2018. However, potential clients are encouraged to submit projects as soon as possible. The faculty will review each proposal and provide feedback to the client on how to make their submission attractive to their target audience of students.

    Further details on Capstone can be found on their website -http://www.ece.ubc.ca/CapstonePartners

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 14 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    (Vancouver, BC) –  The Vancouver User Experience Group (VanUE) has announced that the 2018 Vancouver User Experience Awards (Vancouver UX Awards) are now open for entries. The fifth annual awards celebrate the incredible UX experiences developed in Vancouver. Free to enter, entries are submitted online at www.vancouveruxawards.com/submissions until Friday, September 28th, finalists announced on Wednesday, October 31st and winners celebrated at a gala event on Thursday, November 29th at The Imperial in Vancouver.   Finalists are also invited to present at a “Demo Day” event on Wednesday, November 7th that features lightning talks from 10 award finalists and five award sponsors at the Microsoft Vancouver office.

    “The Vancouver UX Awards is an opportunity for all who work in this industry,” says JP Holecka, VanUX Awards Organizing Team member and Founder and CEO, POWERSHiFTER, “From growing startups, freelance practitioners, agencies, to user-centric enterprises, all can showcase their work and get recognized by their peers for the incredible UX experiences they create every single day.”

     

     

     

    2018 Vancouver UX Award Categories


    UX for Work:  This category celebrates any solution—intranets, business applications, or other systems—that provide great user experiences for people inside organizations of any size.

    UX for Emerging Experiences:  The future is no longer at a distance—wearables, voice experiences,  internet of things, bots, virtual, augmented and mixed reality is already here. These devices and experiences are creating a new opportunity for user experience. This award category allows us to surface the emerging interactions and immersive experiences that our community is creating.

    UX for Products:  Digital products play an important role in our everyday lives. Whether to monitor our health, finances, or happiness, we increasingly rely on digital apps and services to make our lives easier to manage and to make intentional decisions about our behavior. This award honours the incredible Vancouver-based products whose digital experiences enrich and engage across a wide spectrum of domains.

    UX for Good:  Great user experiences are essential to improving the way non-profits work with their partners, communities, and stakeholders. This award recognizes charities, foundations, social campaigns, professional associations, and public-sector enterprises. Entrants should demonstrate how they’ve created a user experience that helps a non-profit organization achieve its goals and/or serve its members.

    UX by Students:  Up-and-coming practitioners are making huge contributions to innovation in this region’s UX community. This award celebrates the work done in courses, extra-curricular activities, or portfolio projects—provided the solutions were not designed for commercial purposes. To submit for this award, applicants must be registered at a B.C. post-secondary institution during the 2017-2018 academic year.

    UX for Marketing:  Websites, e-commerce, contests, and marketing-driven campaigns are successful when they create authentic and impactful user experiences for their audiences. This category requires that submissions are or were live during the past year (October 2017 to 2018) and include metrics that matter and can demonstrate their impact. No concepts will be accepted.

    People's Choice:  Using social media and the awards website, the Vancouver UX community will vote on the best experience from among the finalists, across all categories. Voting will occur in the weeks just before the awards gala event.

    Best UX:  Grand-prize category will be a juried selection from finalists across all categories (with the exception of UX by Students). The winner represents some of the best in user experience design the Lower Mainland has to offer.

     

    All award submissions will be evaluated and scored by the judges on how they satisfy five criteria:  elegance, clarity, innovation, impact, and emotion in the UX experiences created.  Submissions are judged by a panel representing different sectors of the UX industry and with varying levels of experience.


    The 2018 Vancouver UX Awards are only made possible with the support of a growing sponsor family including local organizations such as:  OpenRoad Communications, POWERSHiFTER, Habanero Consulting Group, Finger Food, Domain7, RED Academy, SAP, Microsoft, TEKsystems Digital, Clio, Major Tom, BluePrint UX, Spatial research + design, BDC, Noravera, ThoughtFarmer and BrainStation.

     

    About the Vancouver User Experience Group:

    The Vancouver User Experience Group (VanUE) is a diverse community of practitioners and students who are passionate about building better experiences and advancing their skills.  VanUE was founded in 2003 and has since grown to 2,400 members.  Hosting monthly meet up events with speakers and professional development opportunities, the organization is managed by Vancouver UX Award sponsors OpenRoad Communications, POWERSHiFTER, and Habanero Consulting Group. 

     

    For more information on how to participate, from award submissions, gala attendance or event sponsorship, please visit the Van UX Awards website at www.vancouveruxawards.com. Follow the awards on Twitter: @VanUXAwards and on Instagram: @vanuxawards.com

     

     

     

     

  • 19 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    Some of our members have expressed concern that CMF funding appears to be biased toward Ontario and Quebec. DigiBC is going to work on addressing this issue in the coming months. If you would like to join our CMF task force then please communicate this interest to brenda@digibc.org. Thanks!

  • 18 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    In conjunction with the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology (JTT) and Creative BC, DigiBC hosted Mr. Chen Fafen, Senior Advisor, Cultural Industries Bureau, Tencent Holdings in Vancouver on July 6/7. Mr. Chen held one to one meetings with selected video games, animation, and visual effects studios and toured Double Negative, Archiact, and Electronic Arts. DigiBC Chair, Jon Lutz, took Mr. Chen on a tour of EA which included seeing the motion capture studio and meeting the team making FIFA Online Mobile for China. Huge thanks to everyone who participated and helped coordinate his two-day visit. We have since received feedback that Mr. Chen enjoyed his time here and was thoroughly impressed with the information we shared.  Well done all!
     

    Jon Lutz & Mr. Chen Fafen

  • 17 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    Animal Logic is a world-renowned animation and visual effects studio that was founded by Zareh Nalbandian and Chris Godfrey in 1991 in Sydney, Australia. Being that Chris is one of the country's top visual effects supervisors and Zareh is at the forefront of producing award-winning design, animation, and visual effects, it made for a great foundation to get the company off the ground.
     

     

    Since then they have branched out to create a global family with additional locations in Vancouver and Los Angeles. They describe this family as a collaborative, innovative, dedicated passionate, and creative bunch who all share the same philosophy - to make great work with great people. It's a place where the staff love what they do and have fun doing it. The company also ensures that they are always working on high-end, quality projects while still having a focus on staff training and career development. 

     

     

    Over the years, Animal Logic has produced a slew of award-winning films with their most prominent ones being Happy Feet (their very first animated feature film which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature), The LEGO Movie (where they partnered with Warner Bros., Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Chris McKay, and had a team of over 350 artists, technicians, and support staff working on the film for 2+ years), and Peter Rabbit (the studio developed innovative and groundbreaking technology in order to bring the complex characters to life).

    In 2017, the Animal Logic family grew to over 600 people from more than 30 countries and it is still an independent Australian company! Another exciting fact is that in 2016, the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) partnered with them to create the UTS Animal Logic Academy. The Master of Animation and Visualisation in a postgraduate program now in its second year. Applications are currently open for the class of 2019 and more details can be found here.

     

     

    The two projects they currently have in production are The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and Captain Marvel. A partnership with Imagine Entertainment and Warner Bros. to co-develop, produce and co-finance a slate of animated and hybrid family films was also recently announced. They are always looking for new team members to join their global family and have roles available in animation, visual effects, production, concept art and more! Further details on these openings can be found here.
     

    Notable Awards
    2014 BAFTA Award: Best Animated Film (The LEGO Movie)
    2013 AACTA Award: Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects (The Great Gatsby)
    2007 BAFTA Award: Best Animated Film (Happy Feet)
    2007 Academy Award: Best Animated Feature (Happy Feet)

     

  • 17 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    Does your company have a social media policy? Many of us are aware of the controversy facing ArenaNet (Guildwars 2) after they fired two employees for allegedly behaving poorly in social media interactions with consumers. Leaving aside the issue of whether or not the two should have been fired, a few obvious questions emerging from this fiasco are... does your company have a social media policy in place? If so, is it sufficient? Does it consider both professional and personal social media accounts? We began preparing recommendations for our members to consider then read the work that Jen MacLean at IGDA produced. Rather than re-creating the wheel, we asked her permission to link to the IDGA suggested guidelines. She agreed. Thanks, Jen!

     

    Game Devs on Social Media: Questions You Should Ask For Your Protection
    Posted By Jen MacLean, Monday, July 9, 2018
    igda.org/blogpost/1016423/305221/Game-Devs-on-Social-Media-Questions-You-Should-Ask-For-Your-Protection

    Two ArenaNet employees were recently fired because of their interactions with community members on social media. This incident makes very clear the perils of social media for game developers, especially when transparent and well-understood guidelines for staff members are not in place. Often, game developers love engaging with their player base and the interactions can be very helpful for both the developers and players. However, without clear information from an employer on social media use, interacting with people as a game developer can jeopardize someone’s job and career, and even their personal safety.

    The IGDA strongly encourages its members, both as individuals and as studios and partners, to clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use, both in professional and personal accounts.

    Game developers are also frequently targeted for harassment, particularly if they are members of under-represented communities. Companies must plan for how they will support their staff members in the event of online harassment, and should clearly communicate the resources they will make available to their team to have safe, productive, and positive interactions online, especially if they are expected to do so in their roles. With generous assistance from IGDA community members, we’veassembled an initial list of questions every game developer should ask, and every company should address, before interacting with players on social media.

    What are the rules for staff about engaging in company-controlled online spaces?

    • Is direct engagement with consumers a job requirement for non-community/customer support employees? If so, what training is provided to employees to help facilitate these interactions?
    • If non-CS staff is engaging directly in company spaces, are they allowed to disagree with consumers? If so, how much disagreement is acceptable? What sort of language (with examples) is acceptable and what isn't?

    • If a consumer is behaving toward non-CS staff in a way that the staff member feels is inappropriate/condescending/exhausting, is the staff member allowed to disengage? More importantly, is the staff member allowed to TELL them they're disengaging? Are they allowed to say WHY they're disengaging? Is there an escalation process the staff member should follow internally?

    What are the rules for employees’ personal social media accounts?

    • Are staff allowed to have personal social media accounts on which they identify themselves as an employee of the company, or on which they share their role at the company?  Is LinkedIn included in this?

      • If so, are staff allowed to have personal social media accounts that aren't locked to the public? Are they allowed to have personal social media accounts that ARE locked to the public?

      • Is it expected that staff include any disclaimers that they do not represent the company, or that their opinions are their own? Where should that disclaimer be included?

    • Are staff allowed to discuss non-confidential aspects of their jobs on their personal social media accounts?

      • If so, what sort of aspects of their jobs are they allowed to discuss? What feelings are they allowed to express? What sort of language (with examples) are they or aren't they allowed to use? Are they allowed to disagree with consumers?

    • Are staff expected or required to engage with consumers on their personal social media accounts? If so, how often, during what periods of the day, and to what degree?

    • Are staff allowed to tell consumers approaching them via their personal social media accounts that they won't engage? If the consumer won't leave them alone, what sort of language are they allowed to use/actions are they allowed to take to be left alone?  Is there an escalation process the staff member should follow internally? 

    What will the company do to protect its talent from internet harassment mobs?

    • What steps will the company take to deal with customer hostility toward non-CS staff in company spaces such as the message boards or company-controlled Reddit AMAs?

    • If a targeted harassment campaign is directed at a staff member or members, what steps will the company take to protect them?

    • What resources will the company devote to detecting and preventing the organization of targeted harassment campaigns directed at staff members?

    • What training will the company provide to staff so that the staff understands the expectations for engagement and what to do if they are targeted?

    • What is the “911” process for an employee who is being brigaded/harassed/threatened? What happens when it’s outside of company hours?

    • Who can employees contact to vet their social media posts, both those made in company-controlled spaces and those made from their personal accounts?

    What are the calibration/discipline/monitoring procedures?

    • Who monitors employees’ personal social media, and how much monitoring is to be expected?
    • Are managers responsible for monitoring their direct reports’ personal/private social media?
    • What is the review process if someone has concerns about an employee’s post, and who is involved?
    • What is the disciplinary process, if necessary, and who is involved?
       

    Are employees allowed to play the game (if the game is multiplayer)?

    •  Are they allowed to have non-company-tagged personal accounts?

    • What feelings are employees allowed to express while playing on company accounts? What sort of language are and aren’t they allowed to use?

    • What feelings are they allowed to express while playing on personal accounts? What sort of language are and aren’t they allowed to use?

  • 16 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    SIGGRAPH 2018 is taking place next month and there's still time to get your hands on a pass. We have been provided with a sign-up code that will get you a free Exhibit-Only pass, or it can be used to save $50 if you upgrade to any other level. To register and review all of the categories you can click here: https://s2018.siggraph.org/attend/register/
     

    Once you have decided which category to register under, click on Register Now, start the registration process and choose registration type (member, non-member, student, etc).  On the contact information page, you will be prompted at the bottom to enter a discount code. If you are a current DigiBC member and would like to take advantage of this offer, then please contact us to get your sign-up code.

     

  • 13 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduces new data protection obligations for businesses while providing increased data protection rights for data subjects. The GDPR also significantly increases fines for non-compliance. Are you impacted by GDPR? DigiBC members were invited to a call with a legal expert on this very topic last month (huge thanks to EA Vancouver for making this available). For those of you who were unable to attend, here is an excellent resource list that was provided in the meeting.


    Regulators’ Resources to Enforce - https://www.ft.com/content/aa156862-5f4f-11e8-9334-2218e7146b04

    “A survey conducted by Reuters finds the majority of European regulators will not be ready for the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Of the 24 regulators polled, 17 said they either do not have the necessary funding or the proper powers in place to enforce the GDPR. “We’ve realized that our resources were insufficient to cope with the new missions given by the GDPR,” CNIL President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin said. Regulators do not have the enforcement abilities needed for the new rules as their countries have not updated their laws to include the GDPR. The majority of respondents said they will react and investigate complaints based on merit, while a few said they would take a proactive approach.” https://iapp.org/news/a/eu-regulators-say-they-are-not-ready-for-gdpr/


    Top 10 Operational Impacts of GDPR and Self-assessment Tools

    https://iapp.org/resources/article/top-10-operational-impacts-of-the-gdpr/

    https://assessment.microsoft.com/gdpr-compliance

    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/resources-and-support/data-protection-self-assessment/


    DPO Responsibilities & Liabilities

    https://edps.europa.eu/data-protection/data-protection/reference-library/data-protection-officer-dpo_en

    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/accountability-and-governance/data-protection-officers/

     

    Concise & Clear GDPR Guidelines

    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

    https://privacylawblog.fieldfisher.com/

    https://www.twobirds.com/en/hot-topics/general-data-protection-regulation

     

     

  • 12 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    BCIT and Microsoft Vancouver have partnered up to develop a first-of-its-kind VR/AR/MR curriculum. The program was created to set students up to enter the job market with the desirable skills that businesses are demanding in the growing tech industry. If you're looking to augment your software development skills then this program could be the right fit for you. For more information, you can check the BCIT website here.
     

     1. When was the program launched? Who created it and who are the instructors?

    BCIT launched the program in the fall of 2017. Two existing courses, COMP 1011 - UX/UI and COMP 1910 - Intro 3D Simulations and VR/AR were adapted to function as the prerequisites for two higher level xR courses. This statement of completion was developed by Kevin Cudihee (Program Head for BCIT Computing Part-time Studies), in conjunction with subject matter experts from the School of Computing and Academic Studies ( SoCAS ) Arron Ferguson and Maria Khan, Richard Morency, Bill Zhao (Centre for Digital Media), and Chris Welman (Microsoft Canada).

     

    2. How long is it? How much does it cost?

    The series of four hands-on courses are:

    • COMP 1011 - UX/UI Fundamentals
    • COMP 1910 - Introduction to 3D Simulations and VR/AR
    • COMP 2012 - Applied UX/UI for VR/AR
    • COMP 3919 - Applied VR/AR Project

    These courses are designed to be delivered part-time, at night, and on weekends. Each course has prerequisites for the follow-on courses. It will take a minimum of three terms or one year to complete all four courses if the student starts with completing COMP 1011 and COMP 1910 concurrently. COMP 2012 and COMP 3919 are not offered every term and must be completed sequentially. Each course costs around $599 CAD each. In total, the statement of completion will cost about $2,500 CAD (including books).

     

     3. Who would benefit the most from taking this program? Are there any prerequisites? Do students need to have any previous training or work experience in a certain field before signing up for this program?

    VR/AR courses are aimed at mature students with other post-secondary education and work experience. These courses will be of interest to established programmers who are already working as software and mobile app developers. Participants in these courses must be able to form and work in self-directed teams.

     

    4. Can this program be taken online? Or is it only on-campus?

    These four COMP courses are not available online. They are highly applied and delivered face to face with specialized hardware. Delivery is currently at the Burnaby and Downtown BCIT campus locations and they are looking into offering at least one of these courses at The Cube. There is a very strong interpersonal communication component using Agile development and small close functional teams of students collaborating together in person.

     

    5. What are some of the possible jobs someone could do after graduating?

    This statement of completion was designed to provide an introduction to these technologies. The goal was to show students' best practices, industry-standard methods and current tools used in this environment. These four courses alone are the first step in exploring this field. Ideally, those taking these courses would be already working in the field as software developers. "The aim is to provide working individuals with opportunities to advance into new and developing markets," says Bethany Edmunds, Associate Dean of Computing at BCIT.

     

     

  • 09 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    The First Nations Technology Council (FNTC) is looking for passionate instructors and technologists to teach in their Foundations in Innovation and Technology (FiiT) program which is launching in the fall. This is a new initiative that guides students on a path from entry level-certification through to advanced training and work experience opportunities. FiiT is creating a network of Indigenous innovators that are equipped with the skills and certifications required for the digital economy. Through FiiT, thousands of Indigenous students throughout the province will have access to industry-relevant training and creating pathways to having greater participation in the technology and innovation sectors.

    Developed with support from industry partners and community leaders, the FiiT program closely aligns labour market demand with areas of study, reflecting both current and projected in-demand careers within the technology and innovation sectors. Extended-length course delivery allows for meaningful learning to take place, while a range of support services (including financial aid, mentorship and academic advising for status and non-status Indigenous peoples) ensure that students have the tools they need for success. 

    NVIT and the Technology Council give high priority to Indigenous candidates. All applicants should be experienced in working with Indigenous people and be willing to travel.

    Employment is contract based on a 12-week cycle. Compensation is $ 6,316.35 per course (2- week section). If you have an interest in Indigenous education, economic reconciliation and the increased participation of Indigenous peoples in the digital economy, they would love to receive your application.

    For more information, you can go to their website - http://www.technologycouncil.ca/about-us/join-our-team/instructor

     

     

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