HP Inc., in collaboration with AMD, has announced the launch of its ‘HP Gaming Garage’ at Rochester Institute of Technology in Dubai (RIT-Dubai), based at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO). The HP Gaming Garage will promote and encourage university and school students from all over the world to gain the skills needed to enter the gaming and esports industry. The initiative forms part of HP’s commitment to enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025.
In the purpose-built, hi-tech gaming lab, complete with the latest gaming PC hardware from HP, students can access a curated programme to build soft skills and expertise specific to the gaming industry. The Gaming Garage also enables students to connect directly with game development and esports industry experts through workshops and internship placements. The long-term vision is to equip students with the right skillset to kick-start their careers in the game development industry through digital micro-credentials – a skill-based mini-qualification and a skills passport.
Commenting on the launch, Vishnu Taimni, Vice President and Managing Director of Middle East, Turkey, and East Africa at HP Inc. said, “Gaming in the MENA region is estimated to be worth $4.5bn, and there are more than 100 million Middle Eastern gamers. To support this vibrant and growing industry, we have launched the HP Gaming Garage, in collaboration with our partners. This unique programme will bring our knowledge and excitement to students, take their passion for gaming to the next level, and help them to develop the skills needed to excel in the game development industry.”
James Blackman, Director at AMD for the Europe Middle East and Africa region said, “AMD is where Gaming begins, AMD love Gamers, and we are proud to partner with HP on the Gaming Garage project to redefine the future workforce by enabling them with the skills required to begin a journey in the gaming industry. At AMD we create products that meet the demands of tomorrow and inspire innovation; I hope the Gaming Garage can inspire and help the next generation create rewarding careers in the gaming industry.”
The HP Gaming Garage is supported by a number of partners:
- AMD – few are as passionate as those in gaming, media, and entertainment. Whether developing, creating or consuming AAA games or the latest blockbuster, AMD supports hardware to deliver the very best performance. AMD will also support with industry guest lectures.
- RIT’s new, the state-of-the-art campus houses the HP Gaming Garage. In addition, its dedicated faculty, focused on the gaming industry, will offer academic support to further drive the programme by hosting several workshops and guest lectures.
- Ubisoft, creators of well-known games like Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, among others, will offer industry experience and mentorship opportunities to winners of the hackathons, which will take place quarterly.
“In light of our continuous efforts at RIT Dubai to give students and the community opportunities to be prepared for the future, RIT Dubai is excited to collaborate with HP on operating this garage. Gaming is becoming a major tool in many industries including health, manufacturing, service sector as well as entertainment. Establishing a lab that fosters the creation and design of games will give participants many futuristic and business opportunities. Housing this lab in our newly built, smart, innovative and sustainable campus will strengthen the ties with all our strategic partners, like HP,” commented Yousef Al Assaf, President, RIT Dubai.
The HP Gaming Garage consists of six tracks that will help students build-up to a game skills passport:
- Weekly gaming skills workshop that will include courses on developing prototypes, designing for engagement, isometric design among others
- Weekly soft skills workshop including sessions on how to pitch prototypes, sharpen leadership skills, how to brand games etc.
- Access to industry professionals including guest lectures, Q&As from industry experts
- Internship and mentorship with key industry partners
- Game design incubation with industry partners, which will help students grow ideas and concepts
- Academic pathway which provide students with links to some of the best online self-paced courses on game design
In addition, the HP Gaming Garage will host quarterly hackathons that will be conducted throughout the year, the first of which kicked off in April 2021, and is centered around the healthcare industry. As part of the first challenge, students have been asked to design an original game to creatively solve some of the pressing challenges in the healthcare sector.
Throughout the six weeks of the challenge, soft skills workshops, games skills workshops, and industry encounters will also take place to support participants in developing their prototypes. There will be additional hackathons over the coming year that will focus on solving challenges from different industries.