Oakland Program Strives to Bring Black Community Into Video Game Industry

NBC Universal, Inc.

They're among the leading consumers of video games, but Black people make up only a tiny fraction of people working in the gaming industry.

An Oakland program aims to change that — one designer, artist and gamer at a time.

Gameheads was created after Damon Packwood looked inside the video game industry.

"And there was just no diversity," he said.

According to the Game Developers Association, Black people make up roughly 2% of the video game industry. Gameheads wants to see that number go up.

"The strength of young folks in the East Bay — if you're from the Bay Area — you know it's the arts," Packwood said.

Gameheads teaches design, animation, motion capture and everything else one needs for a job in the gaming field.

It's working for Anaya Crouch.

"The more that I've learned about the process of development, the more that I've learned about the moving parts that go into creating video games, I'll definitely consider it," she said.

Gameheads grads are already making games for Electronic Arts, Riot Games and the Microsoft Xbox, just to name a few.

"100% of our students have to produce a video game every year," Packwood said.

Another entire class is ready to jump in.

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