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Andy Phelps named President of HEVGA

WASHINGTON, DC – November 17, 2017 – The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA), a professional association of video game scholars and programs at universities, announced today Andy Phelps as President. Phelps is the founder and Director of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), founder and former Director of the School of Interactive Games & Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and holds the rank of Professor at the Institute. Phelps brings decades of experience in games programming education to the Alliance and has been an essential leader in legitimizing and professionalizing the field. He was a founding member of the Alliance’s Board of Directors and has been integral in ensuring its success.

“Andy has a proven record of leadership and has demonstrated mastery in moving initiatives and organizations forward in truly impactful ways. His current and former work at RIT, collaboration with state and local government at MAGIC, and commitment to academics makes Andy the person best suited to next lead the Alliance,” said Drew Davidson, HEVGA’s Secretary.

Phelps succeeds Constance Steinkuehler, who served as president from the Alliance’s inception. “We owe Constance a deep debt, not just for championing the establishment of HEVGA, but for her fearless dedication to games in higher education from the very beginning, both within academics and at the federal level in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) during the Obama administration,” said Phelps. Steinkuehler currently holds the rank of Professor at the University of California, Irvine and will continue to serve the Alliance as one of its founding fellows.

Phelps will build off the work of Steinkuehler and the other founding members of the Alliance’s Board of Directors, Drew Davidson, Katherine Isbister, and Tracy Fullerton, to expand member-driven processes and its role and service to the field. Jonathan Elmergreen, HEVGA’s Executive Director, said of Phelps’ plans, “In the near term, Andy and I will focus on filling two vacant seats on the Board of Directors, with a particular emphasis on candidates who can represent the field beyond the border of the United States and at two-year programs, community colleges, teaching universities, and trade programs. In addition, we plan to expand the Board of Directors, advisory board, membership, and establish councils composed of members to advise the executive committee on the unique needs of educations across the world. Research is an integral facet of our members’ daily lives, so Andy and I will also continue to grow the Alliance’s role in scholarly work through our surveys and supporting our members’ research, with a particular focus on gaining greater understanding of industry, its impacts, and important crossover with academics.”

“We are very excited to have Andy as the Alliance’s next president. His background, devotion, and integrity will serve our field well and continue to push us forward. HEVGA, the executive committee, and our members are lucky to have him. We look forward to serving under his leadership,” said Katherine Isbister, Communications & Outreach.

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About HEVGA
HEVGA’s mission is to create a platform for higher education leaders which will underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities. The key is to create a robust network of resources ­– ­including unified advocacy, policymaker engagement, media coverage, and external funding – in order to incubate and harness the impact of this community in a 21st century learning environment. For more information, visit hevga.org, like HEVGA on Facebook, or follow @theHEVGA on Twitter.

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ANDY PHELPS NAMED PRESIDENT OF HEVGA

WASHINGTON, DC – November 17, 2017 – The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA), a professional association of video game scholars and programs at universities, announced today Andy Phelps as President. Phelps is the founder and Director of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), founder and former Director of the School of Interactive Games & Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and holds the rank of Professor at the Institute. Phelps brings decades of experience in games programming education to the Alliance and has been an essential leader in legitimizing and professionalizing the field. He was a founding member of the Alliance’s Board of Directors and has been integral in ensuring its success.

“Andy has a proven record of leadership and has demonstrated mastery in moving initiatives and organizations forward in truly impactful ways. His current and former work at RIT, collaboration with state and local government at MAGIC, and commitment to academics makes Andy the person best suited to next lead the Alliance,” said Drew Davidson, HEVGA’s Secretary.

Phelps succeeds Constance Steinkuehler, who served as president from the Alliance’s inception. “We owe Constance a deep debt, not just for championing the establishment of HEVGA, but for her fearless dedication to games in higher education from the very beginning, both within academics and at the federal level in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) during the Obama administration,” said Phelps. Steinkuehler currently holds the rank of Professor at the University of California, Irvine and will continue to serve the Alliance as one of its founding fellows.

Phelps will build off the work of Steinkuehler and the other founding members of the Alliance’s Board of Directors, Drew Davidson, Katherine Isbister, and Tracy Fullerton, to expand member-driven processes and its role and service to the field. Jonathan Elmergreen, HEVGA’s Executive Director, said of Phelps’ plans, “In the near term, Andy and I will focus on filling two vacant seats on the Board of Directors, with a particular emphasis on candidates who can represent the field beyond the border of the United States and at two-year programs, community colleges, teaching universities, and trade programs. In addition, we plan to expand the Board of Directors, advisory board, membership, and establish councils composed of members to advise the executive committee on the unique needs of educations across the world. Research is an integral facet of our members’ daily lives, so Andy and I will also continue to grow the Alliance’s role in scholarly work through our surveys and supporting our members’ research, with a particular focus on gaining greater understanding of industry, its impacts, and important crossover with academics.”

“We are very excited to have Andy as the Alliance’s next president. His background, devotion, and integrity will serve our field well and continue to push us forward. HEVGA, the executive committee, and our members are lucky to have him. We look forward to serving under his leadership,” said Katherine Isbister, Communications & Outreach.

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Announcing HEVGA newsletter: The Alliance Monthly

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HEVGA defends LGBTQ people’s right to live and work

Washington, DC – We unwaveringly support our LGBTQ faculty, students, and members and will always advocate for their right to be treated equally under the law and with respect in society. That is why the Higher Education Video Game Alliance resolutely opposes the Department of Justice’s latest amicus brief on Title VII aimed at restricting the rights of LGBTQ people to live and work.

LGBTQ people are integral to the games community and we would not have a booming field and industry without them. In order for our people to have opportunities to thrive, they must be protected from discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Trans*, non-binary, gender fluid, and other non-cisgender people continue to have the least protections and face the most serious threats and acts of discrimination, particularly trans* women of color. The administration’s actions put existing federal protections at grave risk and seriously damages ongoing battles yet to be won.

The Department of Justice’s brief is in direct opposition to The Alliance’s mission to underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video games, as our universities and programs suffer when LGBTQ people are discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. We are committed to our LGBTQ members and will ensure their voices continue to be heard.

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HEVGA defends LGBTQ people’s right to live and work

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HEVGA teams up with Uppsala University and Gotland Game Conference to expand international goals

Washington, DC – May 4, 2017

The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) is working with Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Gotland Game Conference to expand its international goals on a broader scale. HEVGA’s mission is to create a platform for higher education leaders which will underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities. The key is to create a robust network of resources–including unified advocacy, policymaker engagement, media coverage, and external funding–in order to incubate and harness the impact of this community in a 21st century learning environment.

How does this translate to an international scene? How do we build a network of resources that are valuable by country, across institutions and across borders?

At this year’s Gotland Game Conference, the Department of Game Design at Uppsala University is hosting an international summit for game educators, and inviting all game educations to participate.

An outcome of HEVGA’s Annual Meeting on February 26, this is a first meeting to start working towards a European alliance of game educations. The goal is to ask basic questions such as: who are we, what do we teach now, and how do we see that changing in the future; and, the deeper ones, like how can we build a network of resources that are valuable across institutions in each country and across borders?

The summit takes place on two days, separated by the GGC. Sunday (28/5) is spent getting know other meeting participants; informal presentations that focus on the work we do and how we do it, followed by a VIP dinner and booth crawl amongst the games on the show floor. 29-30/5 is spent networking and soaking up inspiration at the conference proper, before the summit picks up again with a working day on Wednesday 31/5.

The second day of the summit will focus on what HEVGA in Europe could look like, with a focus on actionable goals for building a platform that supports us all: a unified advocacy, a media amplifier, taking local achievements global, a better way to secure funding and a network that recognizes the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of game educations at colleges and universities.

If time allows, there will be a breakout into groups in the afternoon, to discuss specific topics like base education, research, industry outreach, alliance details, and [insert-your-suggestions-here!].

Register for a conference- and summit pass here: https://ti.to/campus-gotland-game/ggc2017

For summit details, and to submit a presentation: http://gotlandgameconference.com/2017/game- educators-summit/

For more information about the GGC, see: http://gotlandgameconference.com/2017/about/

For questions or inquiries, please email Jonathan Elmergreen, Executive Director, at jonathan@138.197.45.69.

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HEVGA TEAMS UP WITH UPPSALA UNIVERSITY AND GOTLAND GAME CONFERENCE TO EXPAND INTERNATIONAL GOALS

Washington, DC – May 4, 2017 The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) is working with Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Gotland Game Conference to expand its international goals on a broader scale. HEVGA’s mission is to create a platform for higher education leaders which will underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities. The key is to create a robust network of resources–including unified advocacy, policymaker engagement, media coverage, and external funding–in order to incubate and harness the impact of this community in a 21st century learning environment.

How does this translate to an international scene? How do we build a network of resources that are valuable by country, across institutions and across borders?

At this year’s Gotland Game Conference, the Department of Game Design at Uppsala University is hosting an international summit for game educators, and inviting all game educations to participate.

An outcome of HEVGA’s Annual Meeting on February 26, this is a first meeting to start working towards a European alliance of game educations. The goal is to ask basic questions such as: who are we, what do we teach now, and how do we see that changing in the future; and, the deeper ones, like how can we build a network of resources that are valuable across institutions in each country and across borders?

The summit takes place on two days, separated by the GGC. Sunday (28/5) is spent getting know other meeting participants; informal presentations that focus on the work we do and how we do it, followed by a VIP dinner and booth crawl amongst the games on the show floor. 29-30/5 is spent networking and soaking up inspiration at the conference proper, before the summit picks up again with a working day on Wednesday 31/5.

The second day of the summit will focus on what HEVGA in Europe could look like, with a focus on actionable goals for building a platform that supports us all: a unified advocacy, a media amplifier, taking local achievements global, a better way to secure funding and a network that recognizes the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of game educations at colleges and universities.

If time allows, there will be a breakout into groups in the afternoon, to discuss specific topics like base education, research, industry outreach, alliance details, and [insert-your-suggestions-here!].

Register for a conference- and summit pass here: https://ti.to/campus-gotland-game/ggc2017

For summit details, and to submit a presentation: http://gotlandgameconference.com/2017/game- educators-summit/

For more information about the GGC, see: http://gotlandgameconference.com/2017/about/

For questions or inquiries, please email Jonathan Elmergreen, Executive Director, at jonathan@hevga.org.

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HEVGA Applauds Sen. Hassan for Introducing the Reigniting Opportunity for Innovators (ROI) Act to Alleviate Student Loan Debt

Washington, DC – April 12, 2017

The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) applauds New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan (D) for introducing the Reigniting Opportunity for Innovators (ROI) Act to help alleviate student debt by supporting young entrepreneurs to grow small businesses. Young entrepreneurs have declined while student loan debt has sharply risen. The act would help entrepreneurs reduce federal student loan debt by allowing deferment of loan payments and interest accrual as well as eligibility for $20,000 in debt cancellation by locating the start-up in economically distressed areas.

“We praise Senator Hassan for her continued support of students and recognition that young people are important innovators in business and the economy,” said HEVGA President Constance Steinkuehler. “For young entrepreneurs hoping to start-up a games studio or games related organization in the tech industry, student loan debt is a major obstacle and can result in delays or complete abandonment of a start-up for fear of defaulting on loans or not being able to secure capital above their own resources.”

“New York’s recent decision to offer free tuition to full-time students at two- and four-year SUNY/CUNY schools for families making $125,000 or less clearly shows the growing interest and need to address soaring student debt. Senator Hassan’s bill simultaneously works to alleviate debt while also growing our economy,” said Andy Phelps, HEVGA Treasurer. “Similarly, state-funded efforts to establish regional interactive gaming hubs at NYU, RPI, and RIT, as well as state support of the RIT MAGIC Spell Studios effort, speak to continued investment in university-based commercialization and entrepreneurship efforts. Programs such as these are critical if we are to continue the growth of games and media as a critical STEM sector of the national economy.

“Our reports show that alumni of games-based programs in higher education do well on the job market, leading to high-paying jobs where the average salary for a full-time position is $76,200 and 82.9% of graduates describe themselves as “thriving” at work,” said Katherine Isbister, HEVGA Communications and Outreach Officer. “Many alumni go on to found or work in start-ups or small studios in the multi-billion dollar games industry, a driver of economic activity and innovation. The ROI Act would provide our graduates with crucial support towards alleviating the financial worry that comes with student loan debt and help encourage the growth of small businesses in the games industry, leading to a more creative workforce, job creation, and well-paid positions. We praise Senator Hassan for introducing this bill.”

The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) is the professional organization for video games scholars and programs at universities across the country and abroad. Our mission is to create a platform for higher education leaders which will underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities. The key is to create a robust network of resources–including unified advocacy, policymaker engagement, media coverage, and external funding–in order to incubate and harness the impact of this community in a 21st century learning environment. For more information, please visit www.hevga.org

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GDC Member Meeting 2017

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WELCOME 2017 FELLOWS

Washington, DC – February 27, 2017 – Today, The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) proudly announces their Fellows program, inducting 30 scholars into their inaugural cohort of leaders in games in higher education. Established in 2017, The Higher Education Video Game Alliance Fellows program recognizes senior scholars in the games domain who have made significant contribution to the field in design, theory, or research. HEVGA Fellows are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to games-based research and design in higher education. Fellows serve as integral ambassadors for the organization and are inducted as lifetime members. HEVGA is committed to providing a robust network of resources and support to its members and member institutions, whose contributions are essential to the success of the field and the international games community.