The Gameheads Program

Over the course of a year we combine video game design and development, education and career counseling, industry exposure, and hands-on training. We train participants on how to create, code and design games, building skills across specific fields necessary to thrive in technology, from coding to visual art, creative writing, design thinking, project management, team building, animation and game theory.

As the only tech justice program in the East Bay that focuses strictly on video games, we have a youth-centered learning focus, which ensures highly engaged youth and an exciting organizational culture. Creativity, innovation, and critical thinking about the intersection of technology and multiculturalism are important values of our program.


CORE PROGRAM

Video Game Design

Our core program is designed to teach students how to design and develop video games. Gameheads students (15-24) make bold, new interactive content pieces that are researched, designed, and executed by them and their peers. Teaching areas include:

  • Game theory and History
  • Diversity of expression in tech and interactive entertainment.
  • Design thinking and Critical Ethnography
  • Project management
  • Art Design, Game Design and Level Design
  • Software development and programming fundamentals
  • Coding (Unity, HTML/CSS, JavaScript)
  • Animation

GDC Vault

GDC Vault
Students have membership level access to the Game Developers Conference Vault. The GDC Vault is a database of every presentation offered over the last 21 years.

Exhibits, Showcases & Competitions

Every year, our students pitch, present and submit their projects to fellowships, competitions and prizes.


COUNSELING

Education Counseling

A premiere goal at our organization is to ensure that all of our students graduate from high school and attend post-secondary education, preferably four-year universities to further their skills in STEAM education. Therefore, Gameheads offers individual academic, college and career counseling for all of our students to insure they meet their A-G requirements, have clear career goals and are aware of transfer requirements, financial aid opportunities, and more.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Industry Exposure

We take trips to some of California’s biggest tech companies and events, including LucasArts, Pixar, E3, the Java Conference and the Game Developers Conference. Also, we have hosted numerous industry professionals from Glue, Ubisoft, Teklet, Inc. and Kixeye to teach tech clinics, play test our student’s games and provide them with feedback.

Intern at a Game Company

During the summer our students have the option to learn from game industry professionals and design an original game at Radd3 in Berkeley.

Multimedia Training

Our students have access to several multimedia programs including two music studios, a film lab, a green screen, camera equipment, computers, music equipment and various production software, such as Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools and GameSalad.

Hands on Experience

Student earn money through paid contract work using the skills they develop through our program (web design, mobile app design, film and photography work, etc.). In addition, they receive job experience working on tech related projects while building awesome interactive projects.


COOL ACTIVITIES

Play Video Games

If you want to create video games, then you have to play video games. Our students have access to an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and over 50 video games. Depending on their team role — level designer, art director, programmer, game designer, et al. — students are always assigned video games to play.

Video Game Tournaments

The Stiikx Gaming Tournaments were conceived of and are organized and facilitated by our students through their licensed businesses, Stiikx Gaming and UPBeat OKG. During these tournaments, students invite their friends and family to compete in some of the industries hottest games or just watch, mingle and free play at the other stations.