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Two-Week Workshops to be held in South Holland, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois

“We want to help diversify the video game and mobile applications industry with serious applicants who want to pursue their goal in the industry but lack the viable resources to do so.” – Pamela McMillan, President and CEO, PETAL et al.

Concerned about a lack of diversity in the multibillion-dollar Video Game and Mobile Applications Industry, PETAL et al., a not-for-profit organization, is making steps to train serious applicants about the industry through four exploratory and training workshops, scheduled for October and November 2011. The training sessions are free and open to the public. Participants must be 17 years of age and older to participate in these exploratory workshops. They must be 18 years of age and older to register for PETAL et al.’s four-month, project-based Summer Boot Camp, TBA.

PETAL et al. will teach two, eight-hour workshops on Introduction to Video Game Design and Development. One of the sessions, Part One and Part Two (must take both), will be held October 1st and 8th, at the South Holland Library, 16250 Wausau Ave., South Holland, IL, Noon to 4 p.m. The other training session (must take both) will be held at Avalon Public Library, 8148 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago, IL, October 22nd and October 29th, Noon to 4 p.m.

For those who are interested in the video game industry, who like to write, draw, program and come up with video game ideas, PETAL et al.’s training sessions will introduce an overview of ideas, skills and education necessary to get into the industry. All participants must register prior to the event on PETAL et al. Website: training.petaletal.org.

The sessions are as follows:

Introduction to Video Game Design and Development (8 hours) Presented by PETAL et al..

Session 1: Saturdays, October 1 and 8, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (South Holland, IL)
Session 2: Saturdays, October 22 and 29, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Chicago, IL)

Requirements:
Notepad/sketchpad and something to write and draw with
Optional (But useful): Laptop

Ages: 17-Adult

Pamela McMillan, President & CEO of PETAL et al., will teach Introduction to Video Game Design & Development; Clarence McMillan, PETAL et al.’s Chief technology officer, will teach Conceptual Art and Story Boarding; Juanita Bratcher, Publisher of CopyLine Magazine and Author of several books, will teach Script Writing; Nitin Khare, Michele McMillan, and Anand Rao, some of the top notch local Programmers in Chicago, will be on hand to share their expertise with participants. Samuel Piazza, musician and sound engineer will be discussing music and sound effects for video games.

Pamela McMillan emphasized the need to raise awareness about developments in the video game and mobile applications industry. She said video games and apps are not just for entertainment but also educational.

“Education and training will certainly help,” said McMillan. “There are people making money online with video games & mobile applications (apps), and some aren’t aware as to how to do this. Overall, there’s a lack of diversity in the industry and we’re missing out on diversity.”

It’s projected that the Video Game and Mobile Applications Industry has a ‘bright outlook, McMillan added. “And certainly, we should know all cultures and experiences. It would be just as beneficial to have video game development skills in addition to web animation and design skills because many corporations will eventually be looking for people with this type of training. They will be looking for entertaining ways to inform, train and educate.”

PETAL et al.’s Boot Camp Training curriculum, which includes design, development, project management, leadership and marketing, will give participants the skills and education needed to get started in the Video Game and/or Mobile Applications Industry.

Clarence McMillan, PETAL et al.’s Chief Technology Officer, said the Video Game Design & Development Workshops, sponsored by PETAL et al., will focus on and introduces technology behind many of today’s video games to users of this medium that are underrepresented in its making and creation.”

Clarence McMillan will teach a segment of Conceptual Art and storyboarding using both traditional and digital media. He said the first step in making a video game is to create believable characters and the world and objects that they share the stage with.

“Along with character and object development the students will be shown the basics of using an art tablet and pen to draw and paint their creations digitally. It is imperative that we keep up with technology and prepare those with career goals to be in the industry for the ever-changing world of the future,” Clarence McMillan said.

Creating a video game or mobile app can be fun. They can be from simple to complex, and anyone can make one if they are willing to put in the time, Pamela McMillan added. She said potential participants can post questions on PETAL et al.’s forums/bulletin boards to a community of people where anyone that has an account on their site can post a question or share a project. People participating on the site or even PETAL et al.’s staff can answer questions. They can collaborate on projects, they can network, and can exchange knowledge on things that they know.

Studies have shown that the video game industry’s makeup is about 2% minorities. From Pamela McMillan’s perspective, she said it appears that minorities don’t see working in the field as a viable way to make income or think it’s for kids; and that those who graduate from programs find it highly competitive because they often limit the market in which they search for jobs. Instead, they should think outside of the box for other opportunities that may be available to utilize those skills like simulation training, classroom and job training, advertising or even consider creating their own opportunities.

“They don’t see themselves in that field and getting those kinds of jobs. They think they have to work for big video game companies such as Sony and Epic. But gaming is not just for entertainment; it can be for education and training. Of course, training is the first step, that’s the introduction. We will try to get them in Boot Camp training. But they’ll have to commit to five days a week, eight hours a day. And when it’s done, they will have completed a video game by commercial standards; that depends on them,” said Pamela McMillan.

All participants in the Boot Camp training program must pass an aptitude test. They should have a high school diploma but McMillan will consider those working on a GED. There are many aspects to developing a video game – script writing, a project manager who oversees the video game development from start to finish, making sure everything is done on time; a producer, programmers, artists, designer, production staff, and sound engineers, among others.

For more information, telephone (773) 375-8127 or e-mail: info@petaletal.org

About PETAL et al.

PETAL et al. is a non-profit organization, the first of its kind that provides skills development and leadership training to those not having the know-how or available resources to pursue their career goals in the entertainment technology arts industry. Our goal is to provide  those not having the know-how or available resources and those who have career goals and a passionate interest in the field with mentoring services, world class trainers, industry insiders and experts with expertise and track records in the industry.

The mission of PETAL et al., is to provide training, mentorship and leadership skills for those not having the know-how or available resources to pursue their career goals in the Video Game and Mobile Applications industry. Our focus is on job skills development, portfolio enhancement and networking to help resolve the low representation of those not having the know-how or available resources to pursue their career goals in the field and increase their potential for employment in the industry by creating bridges. We will do this by working with industry leaders, educators, organizations and corporations for the development of programs to make jobs in the industry tangible.

The vision of PETAL et al. and its founder is to inspire entertainment technology artists to push creativity, passion and their skills to the limit whereas prospective employers keep an eye out for talent coming out of the program.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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