Xbox has officially launched Project Amplify, a new video series that “aims to magnify Black voices within Xbox to inspire, educate and motivate youth across the U.S. to aspire towards careers in the gaming industry through real-life storytelling from Black leaders and employees across the Xbox ecosystem.”
Alongside a teaser, the first details of Project Amplify were shared on Xbox Wire by Black Communities at Xbox Co-Leads Q Muhaimin and James Lewis, and they begin by discussing the results of a recent survey from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Connect that discovered that, out of 200 respondents, 95% of college students and alumni from HBCUs in the US had an interest in having a career in the games industry.
34% said they wanted Program Management roles, 24% wanted Engineering roles, and 18% wanted Gaming Development roles. These numbers tell a story about Black students wanting to join the games industry, but the reality paints a different picture as “only 2% of professionals in the video game industry are Black compared with 13% of the U.S. population.”
Project Amplify wants to change this and will be featuring 14 Black employees from across Xbox as they “each share advice, insights into their current roles, and highlights from their time within the gaming industry.” The hope is that Project Amplify will educate Black youth and beyond about the many roles that make up the games industry and show them that they can be a part of it.
“Growing up I didn’t have much of a vision for what my career would be,” Q Muhaimin said. “I decided to go to college because I thought it was a way to ‘get a good job’ and escape poverty, but even as a freshman Computer Science major, I still had a very shallow knowledge of the opportunities that the tech industry presented me.
“Throughout my college experience and with internships, I learned more about how big the world is – how many companies, careers, and pathways exist for you to find or create a job that you love. I want more people to know that they have options, nothing is impossible or out of reach for them and encourage those to start chasing their passions early.”
“In my early years I was more focused on what not to do versus what I could be,” James Lewis said.
“It wasn’t until my adult years that I learned to leverage my passion for games into a career. I am now incredibly thankful to be celebrating 10+ years in my dream career and I hope Project Amplify inspires people to dream and take action toward their own goals. As my coaches & mentors would say, ‘play to win instead of playing to not lose.'”
In honor of this new initiative, Xbox has partnered with the 2022 Revolt Summit x AT&T for an event on September 24 & 25 to reach students through panels, networking opportunities, and more.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.