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11th August 2009

ProTech Media To Expand With Three More Learning Centres

TorontoToronto – Together with Toronto Mayor David Miller, Microsoft Canada has announced the expansion of the successful ProTech Media Centre program to three Priority Neighbourhoods for Investment. “This is a perfect example of private and public-sector partners coming together to provide innovative opportunities in Toronto’s Priority Neighbourhoods,” said Mayor Miller. “It’s especially important that local youth have been involved in this project from the start, and that many more youth will pass through these doors. The creative possibilities and career benefits provided by ProTech are boundless.” The ProTechannouncement was made at the opening of the Kennedy-Eglinton ProTech Media Centre, located within the Toronto Public Library – Kennedy/Eglinton branch at 2380 Eglinton Avenue East.

The Pro Tech program offers free digital arts and technology skills training. The expansion effort is made possible by a Microsoft Canada Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills grant of $1 million in cash, digital learning curriculum and Microsoft-based technology. “The overwhelming success of the Rexdale ProTech Media Centre in Jamestown is motivating Microsoft Canada, the City of Toronto and community partners to expand the program to three additional neighbourhoods,” said Eric Gales, President, Microsoft Canada. “Today’s youth incorporate technology into every part of their daily lives. By providing access to technology and education we’re feeding their curiosity and creativity with the hope of generating interest in pursuing careers in technology related fields.” The City of Toronto is also supporting the program through its Partnership Opportunities Legacy Fund, which has set aside $13 million for Toronto’s 13 Priority Neighbourhoods for Investment, to be leveraged by funding from outside partners for youth-focused social and recreational infrastructure projects.
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29th July 2009

An Audio Guy’s Perspective of Casual Connect Seattle 2009

After 4 days of seminars and networking events, I was beat. But, boy was it worth it.

Day 1

The first day was devoted almost entirely to the Casual Connect Leadership Conference organized and supported by Women In Games International (WIGI) and Women In Games Vancouver (WIGeh). Numerous speakers presented a variety of topics, each with a particular interest in the role that women play in games, games play in the lives of women, and the portrayal of women in games.

As a person interested in the breakdown of stereotypes, thus allowing everyone’s true potential to shine, I was very engaged in the presentations of the day, which in the end left me feeling very hopeful and empowered about the potential of gaming.

Not long after, a set of roundtable discussions were set up with a variety of topics ranging from working as a contract vs employed worker, owning a small business, and moving up in the games industry.

A networking event followed with the inclusion of other folks from a more general Casual Connect audience, and it was a great night!

Highlight of my day: Megan Gaiser of Her Interactive’s presentation on “The Importance of Leadership”

Day 2 (Day 1 of Casual Connect officially)

Audio day! The entire day had an option to hear speakers who are professionals in the audio for casual games environment. Great ideas were shared including a glimpse into how other professionals create their sound design assets. It was entertaining, welcoming, and I learned a great deal. Speakers covered a wide range of aspects including the creation of stings, sfx, composition, recording, and producing. I would recommend this to any person interested in the audio for casual games arena. A very cohesive day in the audio stream.

Highlight of my day: Barry Dowsett of Sound Rangers on “The Birth and Life of a Sound Effect”
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19th June 2009

A Canadian Look Back On E3

E3Vancouver and Montreal – Since the conclusion of this year’s E3 conference, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss Canada’s presence with a few people from around the country who were there. The general consensus is that the conference is very much worth legendary-peleattending, whether you have a title or product being launched or not. The experience is very educational and offers many chances to meet new people and to try products you may not otherwise have a chance to.

Wendy Boylan from Ubisoft Vancouver was very pleased with the launch of their first title, Academy of Champions at E3. She said that press reception was fantastic and that their pod in the Ubisoft sector was very busy throughout the show.  Pele’s endorsement of the title and interaction with those at the conference adds to the anticipation for the game’s release, and those who tried the title were impressed with the amount of detail and attention which has been paid to this game’s development.

Chammi Kim, a member of the Big Park crew who unveiled their new title, Joy Ride, as part of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 presentation was attending E3 for the first time, and she likened the experience to what it must be like arriving at Mecca after a long pilgrimage. She said that when she wasn’t working at the Microsoft booth helping with Joy Ride demonstrations, she tried to see as many Vancouver-developed games as possible, and it was very exciting to see such a strong presence at the show. Chammi also said that the Vancouver titles showed a wide range of diversity in talent, with a healthy mix of both hardcore and casual games on display. She also said that one of the best aspects of the show was getting to  see first hand how people reacted to the gameplay in Joy Ride and that getting instant feedback was gratifying.
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6th June 2009

Gazing Into The Looking Glass At A New Media Future


Vancouver – As many of the nation’s top innovators get ready to meet at next week’s Canada 3.0 Conference in Stratford, I have been researching a variety of different sectors which make up our digital and interactive media industry. Canada has a very large and very diverse profile when it comes to the digital, interactive and new media arena. It is next to impossible to pigeon-hole any one aspect of our industry because there is so much overlap and inter-connectivity in almost every aspect – even game development is no longer possible to strictly isolate, as innovations gained in this field are often adapted for use in others and vice versa.

One of the most important aspects of Web 3.0 as discussed previously by Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of  Open Text Corporation, is the type of media and bandwidth usage the internet population is moving towards. As web usage begins to be made up more and more of images and video, it becomes evident that bandwidth demand will grow exponentially. With many internet providers wanting to throttle their users, effectively limiting their access to these high bandwidth modes of communication, where will Canada find itself on the world scale of compatibility?

The CRTC, despite several hearings and decisions, has thus far failed to clearly define what the future of Canadian internet access and usage will look like, and has opted for a “wait and see” position. While there must be some type of balance between traditional media outlets and new media outlets, there must also be a way to balance the ability to develop Canadian content and get it to the masses. However – getting all of this content and communication to the masses goes back the issue of bandwidth throttling, plan usage charges and the importance of net neutrality. With the internet becoming such an integrated part of our everyday society in everything from personal to educational to corporate usage, will there be a movement to see a level playing in field in citizen access? How will the growing trend to wireless internet access play a part in citizen access? How will this effect issues such as privacy, identity theft and other security issues? Are we moving towards the world of tomorrow too soon, or will Canada be leading the pack?
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23rd May 2008

The Magic of Think


Sometimes a set of circumstances works with the powers of the universe to put you in places where you should be. Today was one of those days. After the conclusion of this year’s Vancouver International Game Summit, I was going to head home, but as it was the beginning of rush hour, I tuned into our local traffic radio station to check out the condition of the drive home, and upon hearing about all the accidents and back-ups in said traffic, I decided to make a stop at the VIDfest happy hour over at the Granville Island Hotel and wait out the worst of it. I sat down at a table with Jodi Vetterl from SoftImage, and realized that Janyse Jaud was also seated at the table. I had the pleasure of meeting Janyse at the recent ELAN awards, so was happy to have a chance to catch up with her, and she has been a very busy lady, indeed.

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19th May 2008

Seizing The Day


Every once in awhile, we are blessed with the chance to meet extraordinary people. People who work hard and make sacrifices to follow their dreams and passions. People who, every day, wake up knowing that they are doing what is in their heart. Last Saturday I had such a meeting. Scott, Mike and I ventured into Vancouver to cover the final rounds of Tom Lee Music’s Spring Rock Band Championships, completely innocent of the events which would unfold that afternoon.

Soon after we arrived at the music hall Richard Howland, the Market Development & Community Relations Manager for Tom Lee Music approached me to ask if I had received the email update which he had sent out that morning. I hadn’t, as we had left home a bit early in order to stop by Free Geek for a few computer parts. He informed me that a new rock group out of England would be giving a surprise performance during the competition. I will confess that I was feeling a little bad because I had never heard of them. I later conveyed this to the group’s manager, David Matthews. He told me that I wouldn’t have heard of them because they had been kept under wraps until this tour. I think it’s safe to say that Mendella will be very difficult to keep under wraps from here on out.

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7th May 2008


Some sections are having content added and will be fully operational soon. Thank you for your patience as we build our new site. 🙂

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23rd February 2008

Introducing Village Gamer

Welcome to our Games Industry news site. The main focus of this site will be the Vancouver video game and animation industry, and we welcome news submissions from all of the Vancouver area studios. Our secondary focus will be the Canadian industry, and then the international industry happenings.We will be offering limited advertising space on this site to assist us in covering our web server costs, if you are interested in purchasing ad space, please contact us.

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