Guest speaker talks about the power of gaming

Jaylene Collins, Reporter

Bakersfield College’s Student Government Association (BCSGA) held a webinar via Zoom with the Southern University of California (SUC) professor and video-game executive Gordon Bellamy, last Tuesday, Feb. 2.
The theme of the webinar was “The Power of Gaming.” Bellamy spoke about his career path, education programs in the gaming industry, and the importance of gaming. Throughout the webinar, Bellamy also answered various questions from the audience.
Coming from a family of lawyers, Bellamy spoke of how he was expected to become one himself. Thus, Bellamy went to college to pursue a career as an attorney but due to lack of interest, his career path changed. Having a love for sports and video games, Bellamy decided he wanted to work at the video game company, Electronic Arts (EA) or ESPN. Eventually, Bellamy landed a job at EA and worked his way up the ladder. Most notably, Bellamy worked as the lead designer twice for the popular game, “Madden NFL.” He later left EA and helped to start Z-Axis, a smaller video game company that created extreme sports games. Z-Axis was later bought by video game publisher, Activision.
As an educator, Bellamy now teaches at USC. He is a faculty member for USC Games, a program that helps students who want a career in the gaming industry.
“You cannot wait for the world to act on you,” Bellamy stated. “If you want to get into the game industry, then you have to act on the world and start making games.”
At USC Games, there is a video game design track and video game engineering tack undergrad and masters students are able to take, as well as extracurriculars such as a course on how gaming streaming services work and esports teams students can join.
Bellamy said his favorite part of his job was being able to watch his students grow.
“The people who I’ve mentored who have gone on to do and create things that I couldn’t even imagine. That’s my favorite thing, to see them thrive and grow is super fulfilling. Seeing people be their own best selves,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy then spoke about the importance video games played in his life. Besides the fact Bellamy worked as a video game executive, he said games were always important to him.
“Games matter to me so much because games have rules that we all share,” Bellamy explained. “For me, games were always a default space where I could simply be and be as good as I was and share an experience with people who are all navigating the same set of rules. We look for default set spaces where we could be who we are as unique individuals.”
Then he spoke of how important it was for people to be able to find that unique set space for themselves in video games.
The webinar then came to a close after Bellamy answered a few questions.
The full webinar is available to watch on the BCSGA Facebook.