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    Meagan Budgell - Myth Busting Gaming Entrepreneur

    Meagan Budgell - Myth Busting Gaming Entrepreneur

    There are age-old stereotypes that stick to certain professions: the scruffy academic, the mad scientist and well, gamers, the shy (male) loners who like dark spaces and virtual friends.

    Meagan Budgell, George Brown College post-graduate Game Design alumna, 2016, is nominated as our design entrepreneur of the week for her work as a myth busting, entrepreneurial gamer.

    Being a game entrepreneur might lead you to think that she is developing games. And she certainly has done that. However, her focus these days is developing community building events linking students with developers, creating networks and showing students how to pitch their work through her organization, Eat Play Mingle.

    Eat Play Mingle was started by the global network, the International Game Developer Association (IGDA), as a way to bring together students from all over Toronto. With their support, Meagan has commercialized and transformed EPM into an events company as a first step towards her vision of becoming a not-for-profit organization. 

    We sat down and chatted with Meagan about the gaming industry

    Myth #1 - Gamers are antisocial

    With a background in software engineering, game programming and game design, Meagan speaks with confidence. She calls the anti-social gaming stereotype “an outdated myth.” 

    “Gamers learn and master highly prized social skills like teamwork, communication and goal setting both while they are playing and while they are building the games. Developing games is highly collaborative and because of the range of skills required from art to programming; it just cannot be done alone.”

    Myth #2 - Games are for boys only!

    Meagan freely admits that she has often been the only female in the room but, at the same time, says that there has never been a better time for women in gaming, particularly in Toronto. “We were missing role models. There are veteran women gamers out there but we just don’t see enough of them. In all of my schooling, I have never had a female teacher.”

    However, thanks to the emphasis on STEAM and STEM goals in high school, she has seen change taking place. According to Meagan, “Just in the past 2 to 3 years, and now with Melinda Gates tackling this challenge of young women and technology, we have more accurate data about the sector. We have proof that women are a minority. You still need to fight to get your voice heard. It is a struggle, but if you are passionate there is nothing stopping you.”

    Myth #3 - It’s too hard to be a game entrepreneur

    According to Meagan, “Right now, Toronto is the hottest indie gaming hub. It is a great town for this, with a tight knit community.” There are lots of schools, lots of studios, grants and scholarships all adding up to opportunity and buzz. Meagan’s advice for young gamers is straightforward: build your network, volunteer at conferences and events, get your degree, and build an elevator pitch. And if you are stuck, channel a little Meagan by repeating her words, “I don’t sit around and plan it. I just do it.”

    There is so much more to say about Meagan but really, you should just come on out to
    Eat Play Mingle - November 18 at George Brown College, 7 - 10pm at 230 Richmond Street and meet her for yourself!

    Photography I Shing Leung

    Creating a "Leap of Faith"

    Creating a

    Our IN blog highlights entrepreneurial design ventures, the making of things (creatives) and technology. In this post, we would like to take a minute to talk about how our creatives, here at the George Brown College, School of Design have developed a stunning tribute to early Toronto entrepreneurs.

    We are going back, way back, to a time before Toronto was Toronto, to the 1830's when Toronto was the city of York. Today, we complain non-stop about commuting and the slow and over-crowded King streetcar. However, in the 1830’s, in the days before paved roads, commuting along King Street was a long walk down a muddy, sometimes sewage riddled street, earning the city the nickname, “Muddy York.” The alternative, horse drawn carriages, were privately owned and only for the wealthy.

    In the early 1830’s, escaped American slave and York resident, Thornton Blackburn saw an opportunity as he walked this route to his waitering job at Osgoode Hall. Taxi carriages had just been introduced in Montreal. Inspired, Blackburn obtained the plans to have his own 4 -person, horse drawn taxi carriage built. He painted his carriage a distinctive yellow and red and is credited for inspiring the red TTC streetcars that we still see today. Blackburn and his wife, Lucie, grew the taxi business, “The City”, into a prosperous and successful enterprise.

    This pair of inspiring early Torontonian entrepreneurs is being remembered and celebrated in a mural project conceived and created by four GBC School of Design students: Jamie (Jung Yoon) Choi, Justin Heymans, Adriel McPherson, and Huda Tariq all accomplished designers.

    Come and see it in person: “Leap of Faith”
    A mural celebrating Lucie and Thornton Blackburn, African American Canadian pioneers and founding citizens of Toronto.

    Free and open to the public
    November 10, 2016 @ 12pm-8pm
    The George Residence, 80 Cooperage St.

    Organizing team: Jo Enaje, Graeme Kondruss and Magdalena Sabat

    Photography I Shing Leung