Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is confident that video gaming services will give the local creative industries a major boost.
She also wants to see young people whether they possess a first degree or not, taking up hundreds of job opportunities available with the opening of the island’s first video gaming services firm – Playtropic Videogame Services (Barbados Ltd.)
Speaking last Friday at a ceremony at the company’s Building No. 5 Harbour Road, St. Michael location, the Prime Minister said the investment in the industry was a sign of “the confidence many of us had that one of the key productive sectors in Barbados will be the creative economy” and not just tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, renewable energy, international business and construction.
Ms. Mottley further stated: “More than anything else, it is the creative genius and resilience of Caribbean people that have allowed us to withstand these centuries and to create something special and marvelous out of what we have here,”
The Prime Minister noted that the billion-dollar gaming industry was “40 times the size of the Barbados economy” and it “meets us where we want to be met”.
“For Barbados to be the centre of excellence for video gaming in the Caribbean and the Americas, then we have to put in the investment. We’ve agreed we will work together on the education requirements which will be competency-based and not necessarily looking at degrees. A degree is a good thing but if you have the ability to do this without one, then come!” Ms. Mottley emphasised.
Ms. Mottley said her government looked forward to working with President and Founder of Playtropic, Joel Benton, in building out the industry to further boost the economy.
Mr. Benton, in his remarks, told the gathering that his company had embarked on a major recruitment drive with the aim of bringing on 100 people by year end, in the first instance, and employing 300 persons in total.
Expressing the hope that this could soon be increased to between 200 and 300 people, he stressed that tertiary education was not a requirement as training would be provided.
“They don’t even need to have a degree, they have got to be passionate about games and we provide full training…I hope we can build the skills necessary to actually create video games here that are meaningful to Barbadians and everybody else around the Caribbean,” he underlined.
Mr. Benton continued: “Video gaming is booming at the moment because of investment around the world, and Barbados educates its people to a very high standard and there is a very big gaming community in Barbados but there are no places for those people to work without leaving and going to Europe or North America.”
Ms. Mottley also promised to explore how the video gaming firm and Government could work towards creating our own games, insisting that Barbados had a lot of stories that could be told through video games.
SOURCE: BARBADOS GIS