Techlandia September 2017 - Page 61

Techlandia 59 GETTING A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS Many groups across the state are supporting the gaming industry. Among these is PIGSquad, a non-profit organization that promotes the gaming community in Portland, the Pacific Northwest and online. The group works year-round to create meetups, workshops, game jams and networking activities that bring together a wide swath of gaming enthusiasts—everyone from industry professionals to artists, writers and tech creatives. One of its most popular events, Drink N’ Draw, which brings together local artists and developers, now attracts more than 500 attendees. PIGSquad at Portland Retro Gaming Convention Showing off art at PIGSquad Drink & Draw Event For those into digital storytelling, there’s Oregon Story Board, a group supporting storytelling initiatives across technology, gaming, animation and visual effects. Currently, a major focus is the VR and AR market, which is projected to grow to $108 billion by 2021, according to Digi-Capital’s Augmented/Virtual Reality Report 2017. Story Board hosts events like Hack Oregon, Women Who Code, and Creative Coders to support the VR and AR community. Then there’s the Oregon Games Organization (OGO), a branch of the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) that focuses on advocating for the Oregon gaming industry. The group was formed in 2014 after SuperGenius Studios, Pipeworks, ClutchPlay Games, PIGSquad and other members of the gaming development community recognized the need for a state-level organization advocating for their industry. OGO and TAO work together to facilitate partnerships between gaming studios and communities throughout the state, create a solid workforce pipeline, increase access to capital, and advocate for a more competitive policy environment. PIGSquad Board of Directors: Will Lewis, Bryan Wasetis & Laura Hall