Spencer Zuzolo, Director of the Game Development Institute at Austin Community College and founder of the local GameCamp! summer program, will be speaking tonight at the Acadidana Center for Film and Media about statewide initiatives to develop the video game production industry in Louisiana. The event starts at 7 p.m. at the ACFM, located inside the Acadiana Open Channel studio at 704 Lee Ave.

“Essentially the question that we’re asking,” Zuzolo says, “ is if you wanted to have the game industry here, and you wanted to produce 21st Century knowledge jobs in the digital media space, how would you go about building that infrastructure to create skilled workers and then to attract business and then to generate entrepreneurs and innovation in the state?”

Zuzolo says his GameCamp program, which caters to middle and high school students, is one component of helping to build a curriculum and workforce pipeline for aspiring game developers. He adds that other other digital media artists and computer programmers who’s work overlaps into the gaming industry can also benefit. Zuzolo is currently working with Nichols State University in helping to develop game industry curriculum within the college’s computer science department. He also hopes to help digital animation and architecture students at UL Lafayette’s College of Arts find ways to tap into the game industry. “We’re building from the bottom up,” Zuzolo says. “The state is working from the top down so to me it’s very complimentary. We’re going to help build the skill sets and the work force to make it easier for them to go out and get and attract [gaming] companies.”

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