The Make Games South Africa Members Bursary

edited in Association News
One of my goals for MGSA this year was to start a bursary program for people wanting to study Game Design. I've been trying to get corporate buy-in but it is going slow. So now I'm turning to the members of the community. Would you be willing and able to donate to a fund for a Bursary for game design?

I'm looking at a starting amount of R40,000.00 (we have about 200 active members, which is a donation of R200 per member), which is enough to cover the academic fees for a student to go to Wits (which I'm using as a baseline).
  • The bursary would be administered by the Committee and the process of selection of the beneficiary will be open and public.
  • Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need, and have a strong academic record.
  • The bursary will be for undergraduate study (for now)
  • The bursary will be open to any reputable education institution with a solid game design course.
In the long run I'd like to make this a sustainable venture where we have enough capital that can payout for a full bursary (to cover fees, accomodation etc) on an annual basis and look to expand it to multiple bursaries and perhaps even have a post-graduate one (where we can then start asking for specific research to be done ;P)

So, are you in? For now I'm just trying to gauge interest from the members, and if you'd want to add anything to the requirements for the bursary? If there is enough support we'll rig up a means for people to make donations, and look at some additional fund-raising events to make up what ever shortfall there is and start working on the capital amount.



  • R200? Yeah why the heck not. Is there a hat we can chuck it into?
    Thanked by 2hanli Cheatsi
  • I am assuming the 40k would cover one year only?
  • I'm willing to contribute to this. I searched everywhere for a bursary of this type and found none. This will be great to help those who want to go into game design. I know that Learn3D also has a few courses available that can be done in one year. I'll definitely contribute to this.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • @tbulford. Ypu R40K is for one year. The idea is to expand and do fundraising to make it more sustainable (so we don't need to rely on donations every year) but it makes it easier to sell the idea once we've already done it once, so we are going to have to be the ones to start it :)
    Thanked by 2hanli Cheatsi
  • R200 per year per member is completely reasonable, but I'm more wondering about sustainability and the point of it - can we really educate a game maker in a one year course? If my experience here is anything to go by, the ability to get into game design relies much more on self-motivation and self-study than on just one year of academia (not to diss academia, but one year courses with no background simply doesn't sound enough to me, and the background of candidates who want to get into the field will likely be filled with "i love playing games so i'll be passionate about making them".)

    How do we select people who will actually stick with and come out of the course with substance? Some ideas (probably silly):
    1. Prerequisites of some programming background?
    2. Portfolio? Not necessarily of games made, but something to prove aptitude.
    3. Interview?

    Well I guess I'm only coming up with standard stuff that everyone knows about. Anyone have insights?
    Thanked by 2hanli dammit
  • @Tuism well it wouldn't need to be just for a one year course, we could send (and I hope too) a person through an entire 3 year degree (for example). I like the portfolio idea, and we could actually make it a requisite of the bursary that they have to submit prototypes here on the boards....
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    @LexAquillia I am pretty sure Celestial would be keen to donate to something like this. I dont suspect all of the 200 members will be able to make a donation but I expect 40k is not a huge number to reach either way.

    @Tuism selection criteria for a candidate could be anything from a panel reviewing cv's to only taking 2nd year students into account. There are a few established ways this could be tackled.

    One thing that I have seen having done some work in the government sector around the SAADP with SASRIA is there is an ongoing requirement to review a students progress and attendance as much as one to fund the course costs. Also if we can only afford to cover the direct costs the indirect costs will need to be assured. Indirect meaning transport/accommodation etc.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • Personally I would be happy to make a donation.
    As an alternative, although in the longer term, the company I started has a founding principle of 10% of all profits go to community development.
    We're busy working on our first product, but I will stay in touch - I'm sure the other directors would be very open to using some of that 10% to donate to this cause.

    @LexAquillia, this is a great initiative. Thanks for the efforts!
    Thanked by 2Tuism hanli
  • @LexAquillia: Is MGSA registered as non-profit yet? ie. tax incentive for donating individuals / companies?
  • I think it's a great idea (as long as all the caveats already mentioned are taken care of ;-)).

    Personally, I am interested; so are we as company. I'll speak to our other director ;)
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • @AngryMoose, yes, but no tax benefits for donating to the Association (Either we get tax benefits for donations or we get to be an Industry Association, we can't have both). If there is sufficient interest (and money) I'll look at setting up a trust to handle this going forward to get the Tax Benefit. I believe people can still claim back up to R10,000.00 for donations though (even if we don't have the certificate).
  • I've just spoken to our other director about this... and I agree that its a great idea, and something we would definitely support. Tax incentives would also be a cool idea. But I agree that it would be important to make this sustainable, probably the best way to do that though is to start off small and do it properly, and then to build from there.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • I'm in. With bells on.

    This is my single biggest request every time anyone allows me to open my mouth: we need bursaries.

    The problem we are having at Wits game design is simply that good students who are passionate about the field can not afford to study. They are therefor being 'poached' into other degree programs where corporate funding is available to pay for their studies. So a great candidate would be accepted for Game Design, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Game Design is their passion, but it will cost them R40K a year, where Eskom, Telcom, Sasol and others (the SANDF is one as well) will pay for their studies and pay them a stipend to study Mechanical or Electrical. So no matter how much they want to study game design, or how good they may be, it is not realistic. They don't have the funds to begin with, so they go elsewhere where they will also gain additionally and be guaranteed a post for a year or two. (at this point all they want is to study so they don't see the barbs in this yet) This is especially the case with black and female candidates, as these companies target them specifically for bursaries. These students are therefor financially funneled into set career paths artificially creating a 'white male' environment on the peripheries. In my experience, reviewing over 300 applications per year, interest in the field is almost equal across race and gender, but for many of these candidates it just does not make financial sense. The only offers of place in the course that have ever been declined were all as a direct result of funding where candidates were offered substantial bursaries for study in other fields.

    There are many different ways in which bursaries like these are awarded. In all cases it needs to be cleared with the institution's fees and scholarships office, which differs from place to place.
    The first step would be to make sure that the student applying has been accepted at a reputable institution (whichever it may be) and is not applying 'in hopes of' or at a 'random' place.
    You then request a letter of motivation from the institution itself (usually the degree coordinator) and from the applicant.
    Most often a detailed academic record is required.
    Here you can also request a portfolio/set skills, but I would advise against having these criteria too rigid, as it cuts off applicants with potential but no prior experience.
    In some cases applicants can be required to demonstrate financial need (there are set procedures for this, obtainable from the institution in question).
    It is also possible to at this stage give preference to a transformation initiative and favor black or female candidates.

    An example:
    We have one bursary from a software company currently. What happened there is that we, as an institution, appealed to them on behalf of the student. His academic results were submitted and financial need demonstrated. He was then invited to an interview, and given a psychometric test: they look for aptitude rather than experience. Once accepted, the company then gives the University an undertaking to cover the student's fees and the company is then invoiced. This is arranged with the Fees and Scholarships offices respectively. The student then needs to meet with the company at set intervals (in this case it is with HR monthly) and report on his progress and results.

    We could obviously do any variation on this theme.

    Thanked by 3Tuism tbulford Chippit
  • Yeah I'm in as well! A really great idea!
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • Small suggestion: Instead of asking for R200 upfront, why not let people donate in increments? Or in as much as they feel they want to donate, like the humble bundle.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • I agree with @dammit, but R200, that's really not much, so I am in for that; would be glad to help and see this leads to bigger things.
    Thanked by 2hanli CodeCthulhu
  • I don't mind R200 a year for a good cause.
  • As someone who's undergraduate studies were paid for by a bursary from a fledgling industry association, I can definitely support this idea. I'd also be happy to dig out my old contract and share the conditions.
    tbulford said:

    ... there is an ongoing requirement to review a students progress and attendance as much as one to fund the course costs.
    I lecture a class of engineers, and last year there were a couple students who had to come to me after every lecture and get a form signed to prove that they had attended the lecture. While I understand why the company would want to do this, I have 240+ students in my class, and it's not exactly easy to spot specific faces in the crowd. Anyway, I think consistent feedback of marks is far more meaningful than attendance.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • I'm definitely in, but maybe a general donation fund can be set up instead with unspecified amounts, and which can also be used for any cause that could help our industry. Make it visible on the site, and allow anyone to participate. Then we can have campaigns (like this one) with specific targets when needed and publicise it. You can also tie this in with some corporate sponsorship and have competitions, etc. to elevate it further.

    As long as the spend is transparent to the members I would gladly donate more than R200, and regularly as well.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • ...... Anyway, I think consistent feedback of marks is far more meaningful than attendance.
    I certainly don't advocate the constant policing. If you need that your interview process was not good enough. I am just saying that some administrative oversight is a good idea.
    Thanked by 1Chippit
  • farsicon said:
    I'm definitely in, but maybe a general donation fund can be set up instead with unspecified amounts, and which can also be used for any cause that could help our industry.
    Personally, I prefer a crisp goal - put a student through varsity (or such) - in this case something I believe in, which makes it easy to decide to hand over my money. If another crisp goal I believe in comes up, I'll donate again. The idea of a vague fund for things that could benefit our industry (who will decide o.0?) is not so appealing.

    Not to say such things cannot be managed, branded and promoted under the same umbrella; mostly I just like to know if I give money towards some cause, it goes there, and not somewhere else.

  • I'm totally 100% behind this. Were it necessary, I would happily drop 5 times that much.
  • Chippit said:
    I'm totally 100% behind this. Were it necessary, I would happily drop 5 times that much.
    This is why I'm keen for an unspecified amount - which will allow those who have more, or want to donate more, to do so.

    Previously, @Merrik has suggested having a visible progress bar, so that everyone knows how much funding something still needs etc.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • I have no intention of limiting how much you want to donate :) (I was just making the point that if everyone donated, you'd only need R200 from each person).

    I'm not in favour of policing as well. But it might be interesting to get a commitment from the beneficiary to attend at least 5 of the Meetups and to put up at least one prototype? Or attend at least 1 game jam? The idea being that they start interacting with the community and start getting some practice on actual game dev?

    I'm glad the response has been so positive so far :D You guys rock!

    I'll talk to the other on the committee and look at getting the practical implications of this setup so we can get going.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • If the beneficiary wouldn't even attend meetups regularly, I fail to see them having enough motivation to be a beneficiary in the first place. I mean we all have jobs and we still make a conscious effort to come. If transport for the potential beneficiary is a problem we could arrange to help. But at the end of the day it's about motivation, pure and simple.

    Perhaps as part of the interview process we should have people attend the meetup, and if they persevere and return to the meetup WILLINGLY then they would have a step in the door.
  • Just evaluate their participation and output in the community in the year preceding the course. For example, potential candidates should already show interest this year to qualify for next year. At least for a few months. That also has the further benefit of allaying any illusions they may have about game dev.
    Thanked by 1dammit
  • Having already been a part of the community is a pretty shit requirement TBH.

    We're talking about kinds for what is likely to be an impoverished background attending a well established and well known university or institution. MGSA is what a year and a half old? Can we REALLY expect them to know about us?

    And while I believe that this should only go to suitable candidates I know that Wits' game dev is super competitive, and that the kids going there do work really hard at it, but I feel like forcing a bunch of arbitrary prerequisite would make us as bad as the bureaucrats that are stopping these kids from getting bursaries in the first place.

    And if they are in financial need it means that they won't be able to drive themselves to community nights. So someone is going to have to fetch them university and then drive all the way back to drop them off at res. So I don't really find this a suitable prerequisite. Attendance at meetings should be encouraged, not forced.
    Thanked by 2Bensonance hanli
  • @karuji: if you are that disadvantaged, then tuition fees is the least of your worries imho and finding the ambition and motivation to make such a big leap will be too challenging. I'm all for helping, but you just need to be realistic as well.
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    I'm super happy to donate, even more so after @hanli bringing up the point about how we're screwing up our (already crappy) demographics because of the playing field not being even, with the bursaries and things that are offered by competing courses. I hadn't considered that.

    I'd strongly push for the receiver of the bursary to intern at a game studio for some portion of their holidays. While I'd like them to come to meetups and stuff too, I feel that on-the-job training offers great perspective that sheds light on the theoretical work that they may be learning at a school. And it's a different kind of learning that you get having to work with professionals on some project to the kind of learning you'd get by chatting at a meetup.

    On an art-related note, if there are candidates who've got a massive passion for being game artists, there are alternatives. We have a couple of really hard-working, passionate guys at Arcade who taught themselves (or, more accurately, learnt through interaction with online communities), and who I feel have significantly stronger portfolios than those of us who attended art schools. If funding's a problem, but the work ethic is there, I think providing internet access (possibly the biggest hurdle?) and some direction is a really strong alternative to going to an art school, especially given how expensive art schools mostly are. The game art community has self-run workshops and several art competitions throughout the year; heck, they even put together resources with guides, tutorials and examples from artists from some of the biggest names in the world -- free. I don't think that should be ignored.
  • @Karuji I didn't say they must already be a member - but they should be willing and WANT TO attend meetups. And if they're not unable to, we'd help, but seriously, do you think a rural kid with no access to transport and/or computers will be able to make a game dev bursary work? I'm not being condescending, I'm being realistic.

    @Elyaradine the internship thing is VERY important and is the basis for any creative career - I've been there, I know. I've never even thought about that because it's such a default thing - and also because of the (perceived) lack of companies able to offer it in this country. If doable then definitely it should be done.
  • @farsicon you need to work on your pronouns ;) I'm hardly disadvantaged. If we want to get technical I'm the height of privilege.

    To clarify my point. If a student at a tertiary university whose parents are pooling all their resources to get them through a degree. Have made allowances for accommodation, but are struggling to make tuition, because other bursaries have defaulted. There really isn't a chance that that kid is going to have a car, and I am sure they are working their ass off because they appreciate what is being done and sacrificed for them to have the opportunity to study.

    That is the kind of person who such a bursary should be for. Not just someone who fits neatly into our community, but someone who will truly benefit from the support of this community.

    I know a lot of the ideas that people are posting forward are coming from the thoughts of wanting to help, or make sure that this bursary will go to a worthy recipient.

    We have members on the MGSA committee who are well versed in what criteria there should be. And as a member of MGSA who elected that I shall believe in their decision that they make, and hold them accountable for it.

    Offering avenues of opportunity: like bringing them to a monthly meetup, or a paid internship at a studio. That that can choose to accept are good things. But it is possible that they have obligations that prevent them from always doing such things.

    Yes it should go to a worthy candidate, and yes we should check that they are not abusing their support. But must be careful that what we propose supports, and not hinder them!
    Thanked by 2Bensonance hanli
  • Karuji said:
    @farsicon you need to work on your pronouns ;) I'm hardly disadvantaged. If we want to get technical I'm the height of privilege.
    @Karuji: You're joking right? How did you possibly think I was talking about you?
  • Before @Karuji and @farsicon begin waging a pronoun war (@farsicon I think he wants you to use the English 'one' ) :P. I think this discussion needs a little perspective. I'm a student on the Wits Game Design course and have multiple disadvantaged contemporaries.

    @Karuji really is correct. Attending anything outside of the course should be entirely voluntary. You have to understand that coming from an under privileged background in South Africa is crippling. When you get into university, it's basically impossible to get through.

    To indicate this: first year parking at Wits has about 1200 parking bays. In the first four weeks they probably need around 1600 - there isn't any parking anywhere. By the end of first semester, they need less than 500/600. Now these are kids that have access to cars, a significantly higher financial status than the ones we're talking about providing bursaries for andthey're failing first semester of first year? Imagine what it's like for someone from a rural background? It's almost cruel to tell them they have a chance to pass.

    So they're struggling to even pass university itself and you expect them to attend extra things? I mean, yeah, we all have day jobs, but these type of kids basically have two jobs. The entire day at university and then the entire evening trying to understand everything because they're so far behind everyone that they have to work twice as hard just to pass. One of my class mates probably gets an average of five hours of sleep a night just because he's trying to pass all his subjects.

    Engaging consistently with this community and attending its events is a luxury for a student really - you have to make sacrifices to do it properly. I've attended meet ups the day before exams/essays/ tests - and that's just because I'm lucky enough to have gone to a really good, really expensive school and know I can handle the work. I'm one guy out of 90 students that can afford to do that and I'm at the peak of privilege. Let's not expect someone on the bottom end of the scale to do the same thing?

    @Tuism On your point of whether a rural kid will be able to make it, well that's kind of the point isn't it? That's what the bursary is for. The best game designer I know comes from a rural background: he's barely played any digital or analogue games. You all know me: I'm loud, noisy, always have an opinion, and never shut up - but when this guy speaks about games/ game design, I shut the hell up and do what ever he says. He's on a bursary and I don't even want to think about what my class / games / thoughts would be without this guy.

    Interacting with the community / interning is a great idea - just only in the holidays.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • @Tuism
    "do you think a rural kid with no access to transport and/or computers will be able to make a game dev bursary work"
    I know it sounds unlikely, but I interviewed two last year. Good kids, who see games as a way to benefit their community (community becomes extremely important in these cases). They are not just interested in games as we often think of them: this is where analogue, mobile and communal play becomes so important. One of the two missed the requirements, and the other declined for funding. Would they be able to make it work? I'm not sure. The gap between the poorer schools and university is massive, and it is the disadvantaged who suffer most for that. Would they give it their all? Yes. Who makes that call? When it comes to admission to the course, we do (Wits). It's a shit process, but we weigh the elements up, look at the kids commitment and ability and try, so very hard, to get it right. And we do it through a lengthy documented and defensible process. I break my heart on admissions every year. Then, for them to have gone through that, be accepted, and not be able to raise the funds is just horrid.

    "If a student at a tertiary university whose parents are pooling all their resources to get them through a degree. Have made allowances for accommodation, but are struggling to make tuition, because other bursaries have defaulted. There really isn't a chance that that kid is going to have a car, and I am sure they are working their ass off because they appreciate what is being done and sacrificed for them to have the opportunity to study."
    This is far more common than one thinks and stretches well over race lines. I have seen kids break themselves on this. I have seen parents break themselves on this, putting themselves in ridiculous debt to be able to have their kids study.

    I also agree strongly with both of @Elyaradine points. An internship would be a wonderful addition, adding real value for the student. And the value of self-teaching, hard work and external learning should never be underplayed. A degree is a good way, but it is NOT THE ONLY WAY. (I feel like a stuck record on this, but it is really important for us to get kids, and parents, to understand it).
  • I'm not saying attendance is compulsory. I never said it must be ordained.

    I'm only saying that someone passionate about it would want to anyway. And once a month is hardly a massive thing if they are going to class anyway, and also people could help. Someone who doesn't want to attend monthly meetups about the thing that they're passionate about is an indication for me of lack of care.

    But then if they are spending that time working three jobs and juggling life things then sure, of course, I'm not saying someone like that should be excluded, of course :)
    Thanked by 1Boysano
  • I think that it's also important to note that @Bensonance and I have faces to put to the situations. So we may get very... passionate about this :P
    Thanked by 1Bensonance
  • The most important thing, I think, is to at least make sure that candidates are already part of the conversation (physical or online doesn't really matter). Game development is damn difficult to say it lightly, but at the same time that is where the fun is - the frustration, the effort, and eventual sense of achievement. Most people just think it is fun - with no real concept of the challenges involved, and when they attempt it most will just give up right off the bat. The point is, that if people with the money and education problems out of the way are struggling with it, how would someone from that level stay motivated. You're basically setting them up for failure. You have to see it happen to understand just how heart-breaking that is...

    I'm very well aware of how far behind 80% of our population is, and I am very passionate about changing it (in my own small way) - but you cannot go from a level 0 maturity to level 3-4-5 in one leap. There is a natural process to follow - a build-up of knowledge and values from one generation to the next, and it takes time. Will our current generations struggle... yes... and maybe even the next couple of generations, but to attempt to get anything done without getting the basics right first is just misguided.

    We need to focus on the ones who are most likely to succeed. Help our country to build heroes and role models - build up our self worth and pride in a world arena and the next generation of game developers will come in droves. That I can promise you...

    That's just my 5 cents.
    Thanked by 1Boysano
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    I personally would like them to have submitted a game/ portfolio of games to qualify for the bursary. This is pretty standard practice for most bursaries to ensure that the course that the student is then in enrolling for is a good fit for them :)

    I might be enthusiastic and keen to make art, but I'm not nearly ready for first year at a varsity, even if someone else is paying for it. You don't want to be putting someone into a situation where they are bound to fail! That's really horrible too.

    About them participating in the forums/meetups, I think that would be nice, but not really enforceable. If the student goes to Wits are we allowed to find out if they pass the course or produce anything fantastic? I'm sure we'd love to promote anything they make here, even if they don't have the time.

    Maybe we can appoint a mentor? That could help them through the whole process from first week at varsity to surviving an internship to growing a beard (or being sad about being incapable of growing a beard)?
  • Why does everyone think I'm talking about enforcement @_@
  • Before @Karuji and @farsicon begin waging a pronoun war (@farsicon I think he wants you to use the English 'one' ) :P. I think this discussion needs a little perspective. I'm a student on the Wits Game Design course and have multiple disadvantaged contemporaries.
    @Ben I was actually thinking of they, although I am a big fan of using one.

    But I kinda went grammar nazi since I sometimes feel that I need to repeat my point from a different angle for people to understand me. And that if I can encourage people to think more seriously about the point they are putting across it can help lead to smoother communications

    @Tuism like my grammar nazing above. This has to deal with how you are phrasing it. Things like "should" imply a level definitiveness to the statement, compare that to something like "would be great if" or "I would highly encourage." They are positive, encouraging, and show that things might not exactly work out as one would like.


    @dammit lots of cool ideas. I think if we can show them the benefits of community interaction it could really be cool, and in the future an alumni programme to help the new entrants would be great. Also if they are at Wits I am sure Hanli and Ben will do all they can to help them, except growing a beard: we'll have to get Nick for that.

    With regards to promoting them: would this just be inside the community, or would it be to a broader audience. Like it would be rather cool if we could wrangle them some actual exposure in SA if they are intending to make games to help uplift communities.
  • I think that language is an imperfect vehicle of thought, and if someone says something and mean another, I would try and understand what they mean instead of trying to tell them they used the wrong word, because that's quite useless at the end of the day, intentions are the most important. In my opinion.

    I think this now because I used to pick on people's words and then get into fights that could be very easily avoided by a simple "what do you mean" and "did you mean this", then I got to a point where I found them pointless, and moved on :)
    Thanked by 2farsicon Bensonance
  • edited
    Edit... let's just stay on topic...
    Thanked by 2Bensonance hanli
  • Legally, how much are we actually allowed to know about the person we're giving the bursary to? Don't they have to be one step removed or something to ensure fairness?
  • There are many well established methods of handling bursaries, ensuring fairness, determining whether the candidate is appropriate etc. Most educational institutions have dedicated offices for this (Scholarships and Bursaries Office etc). Any of them could help with setting up appropriate criteria.

    No one is talking about setting kids up for failure. This is about affording the opportunity to learn. I am not prepared to speculate on peoples potential based on their financial circumstances.
    This is why most institutions have extensive systems built in to protect applicants and students, and to determine offers of places on limited number courses. The need for determining this ability at a bursary level would therefor depend on the institution in question.

    I have students who have made it through my selection criteria, been accepted, or are already in the program who would qualify. What would happen is that I would let them know that something like this has become available, and they would apply. The decision then rests on the criteria of MGSA. The criteria therefore has to be absolutely clear and measurable, not based on 'well we see them around at meetings a lot' or 'they post games often'.

    This is why mostly companies rely on the university entrance criteria/ acceptance process, then look only at academic performance and financial need. In the case of the bursary mentioned earlier, they require a psychometric test because it measures aptitude not prior learning. (They have many bursaries in various fields and institutions and they have the money for that level of testing.)

    Are we measuring aptitude in game design or ability to succeed at the given institution for the given program? We should be looking at both. For game design specific programs most of this has already been done by the institution through processes that have to be vetted and are defensible.

    As an example: Here we rely on a three tiered method. Applicants are invited to write a critical essay (they have to be able to construct an argument, engage with the subject and show potential to cope with university level writing), some are chosen to attend and interview (they have to be able to talk about games, what they imagine game creation to be, what they are passionate about and answer a list of questions) if they are applying to do art they are asked to bring a portfolio of drawings, finally we look at their academic records. The essays and interviews have set questions and assessment criteria. We cannot require a portfolio of games, because they have not all had the opportunity to make ones yet, although many of the students bring small digital games, games on scraps of paper, etc. These are great, and obviously help in determining ability, but having made a game at high school in no way correlates to being able to do a degree OR to being any good at game design. As @Bensonance said one of the best students we have hardly had an opportunity to play games, and most certainly never tried to make one. (god I once caught him animating in MS paint with a mouse pad, drawing and saving out frame by frame). But in an interview, if conducted correctly by someone who is experienced and know what they are looking, you can make that call.

    Therefor I would recommend:
    prior acceptance into an known course
    demonstrable financial need
    strong academic record
    interview by committee panel
  • All of which depends on us raising the money in the first place
  • You know, I feel stupid for thinking that noone else thought of questions like selecting the right candidate and making sure the bursary money enables the right things for the right people/person. All of academia has thought and worked with this much longer than my single brain could ever comprehend :)

    What was I thinking XD
  • @Tuism *now* you are being silly, not before. It's good to ask those questions; it keeps people on their toes ;)
    Thanked by 1hanli
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    I do think that participating in the MGSA community (at least the forum) is really important for anyone that gets a bursary from here? I wish I knew why students didn't participate more - I know I was all over forums when I was at university.

    I'd also be keen on a "one game a month" type of thread for the bursee - but I can see how that might be tricky, not everyone made all of their university projects into games (because they're weird).

    I certainly think that MGSA involvement offers a lot for anyone actually keen on making games in this country - not to mention being a huge storehouse of knowledge and experience that's accessible at the drop of a hat. Why people who're struggling to understand something in a course don't ask bothers the hell out of me.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • @dislekcia: "Stop being lazy and work it out yourself" was a lecturer response that it took me a long time to unlearn the negative behaviour from, even professionally. It may well be the case with these students.
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    I fully agree that they should be a part of the community. Like the bursary I keep using as an example: he is required to intern over holidays, and to meet with HR to report on his progress.
    This is not only a requirement, it is also a huge draw card. Interning, mentorship and community involvement are the BENEFITS a student would get, not just money to pay.

    Asking for a game a month may be a bit much, since the last thing you want is to pay for someone's studies then have them fail maths (or something) with the bad excuse: I had to finish my bursary game. And even the best of students make sorry excuses.
    It may be better to just require every project to be posted. (easy to do as part of determining the merits of the course - the known institution factor - would be requesting course outlines from the institution)

    @Gazza_N I'm sorry to hear that. That should not ever be how it comes across. When people say that it should be (and I KNOW it's not always) in response to students wanting to be spoon fed. University should prepare you for the real world, not in terms of vocational training, but in terms of how to think and learn. The right way is to say "how have you tried to figure it out? now let me guide you through the thinking process and to how to access that knowledge so that next time you know where to look". The point is that students should be learning when to fight through something, and when to ask. Unfortunately, just as you get lazy students, you also get lazy lecturers who use it as a get-out-of-jail-free card.

    @Tuism Don't be silly! You HAVE to ask those questions. I did. Often, and loudly. It takes years of fighting through what seems like silly bureaucracy before you get what the processes are there to do. (well, for me anyway) (and I swear the system is designed to be ornery)
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