A winning collaboration that ignites passion in young people
This past school year maintained its rich tradition of achievement by student participants of the Video Game Design program by Youth Fusion, in collaboration with Ubisoft Education. Since the beginning of this collaboration in 2015 in Montreal, more than 500 games have been imagined, planned and developed by elementary and high school students throughout Quebec, Ontario and France.
The program, implemented in more than 50 schools over the 2020-2021 school year, reached more than 1,300 students, of whom 45% are allophones, by offering them the support of mentors from Ubisoft as well as regular follow-ups by coordinators. The goal of the program is to introduce young people at risk of dropping out to science and technology, and thus open up future career opportunities for them. The program’s impact is significant: teachers surveyed report an improvement in academic performance by more than 43% of students and 56% of girls who participated in it.
The creation of these video games leads to a true process of discovery and awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). From elementary school onwards, the aim is to awaken passions and orient young people – and especially young girls – towards careers in the sciences and technology. The program also exposes young people to a multitude of training paths related to video game production. Knowing that tomorrow’s jobs will all demand a certain level of technological proficiency, it is essential to prepare and train the next generation in this area.
Vincent Genest, a former participant and a LEADER MTL 2020 scholarship recipient, shares his love for the video game industry, which arose from his involvement in the program.
Last year, for the first time, I signed up for the video game creation project,” he says. “I enjoyed it right away, so I started researching the craft, which only increased my desire to become a video game programmer and join the industry one day.
Erika Benacka is an Outsourcing Production Manager at Ubisoft Montréal and has been a program mentor for two years. “It’s a privilege to see these young people realize their potential by channeling their passion for video games,” she says with a big smile.
When I see the creative talent that is expressed in their work, I can only hope that one day they will enrich the industry with their extraordinary diversity.
Congratulations to all the young people who have accepted and risen up to the challenge of creating video games, as well as to the adults who have accompanied them for the past six years!