The DICE Summit and Awards is one of the game industry’s annual get-togethers, in which the best games of the year are celebrated in front of an audience of about 600 people, mostly game developers and publishers.
The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and Intel chose ECHS Alumnus and SMU Guildhall graduate, Chris Burris, as their first scholarship recipient to attend the summit, network, and make valuable connections in the gaming industry.
AS FEATURED IN SMU GUILDHALL WEBSITE
Published: December 26, 2013
Cohort 19 student Chris Burris was selected to attend DICE as the inaugural recipient of the Intel/AIAS Scholarship. He received an all-expense-paid trip as Intel’s guest to the summit. The Guildhall, a long time research partner with Intel, was one of four game development programs in the U.S. selected for this scholarship.
The scholarship gave Burris special access to the event and the ability to network and gain a deeper understanding of the industry, which he said was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“D.I.C.E. is something I’ll be able to go to again eventually, but not like I did for this year’s summit,” he said. “I was a student game developer who had access to an event normally reserved for professionals with years of experience in the industry. I can’t thank Randi Rost and Intel enough for this opportunity. Also, I got a free tablet, so thank you Ben Kutcher from Intel for such an amazing gift.”
While at D.I.C.E., Burris went to summit talks, networked with industry professionals, and attended the D.I.C.E. Awards show. The overall theme of the talks was “The New Golden Age of Gaming”, which involved topics related to new ways to play, make, distribute and fund video games.
“I found the [talks] to be very inspiring, and I’m excited to see the future of the game industry and what role I’ll play in it,” he said. “Between the talks were networking events where I spoke with individuals from countless companies and organizations throughout the industry. They gave me an abundance of insight and advice and I‘m very grateful for their time.”
Scholarship recipients were paired with an industry professional, who served as their mentor throughout the summit. Burris’s mentor was Gene Semel, senior sound design manager at Sony Computer Entertainment.
“Gene gave me so many pointers on networking, seizing my dreams and just life in general,” Burris said. “I’m glad that I met him. I also want to thank the other mentors, and more specifically Don Daglow and Warren Spector, who were mentors for all the scholars. The scholar/mentor program that AIAS and Intel put together was a fantastic idea that I hope continues for a long time.”
Elizabeth Stringer, deputy director of academics for The Guildhall, said this opportunity has the ability to have long-lasting value for Burris.
“Selection to attend D.I.C.E. as a near graduate of The Guildhall provided [Chris] an extraordinary launch for a career in the video and computer game industry,” Stringer said. “D.I.C.E. mentoring, networking and exposure to luminaries was a transformative experience and a realization of years of pursuit.”
For him, the top highlight of the event was the chance to talk to so many industry professionals that he wound normally never get to meet.
“While studying game development in school, you hear about the industry and you read about the industry, but at D.I.C.E., I got to experience the industry. Not the development side of things, but the people behind the games,” he said. “I hope to maintain and strengthen the relationships I made going forward.”
Overall, he says D.I.C.E. was an exceptional opportunity and is valuable both to student scholars like himself who get the special opportunity to attend, as well as for industry professionals.
“The summit was inspiring and I was amazed at how approachable the attendees were,” he said. “I got to talk to so many great people. I think it’s important for industry professionals to be able to come together, share knowledge, celebrate their achievements, and discuss current and future trends. “
In addition, he believes the biggest thing that he took away from my experience was the importance of giving back.
“I hope that I have the chance to help young developers and students in the future, because I experienced first-hand the positive impact it can have,” he said. “Members of AIAS and Intel invited students to attend D.I.C.E. and gave them to opportunity to jump-start their careers. I’m incredibly grateful for that.”
We are proud to share the accomplishments of our ECHS alumnus, Chris Burris. Keep up the great work, Chris!