Attention gamers—youâ€™re invited to join in on an exclusive opportunity to dip your joystick into the Silicon Valley gaming pool on October 12-13Â Â at the inaugural Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit, Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, California.
CEO of Sungura Games,Â Derek Manns, will be hosting anÂ Opportunities in Gaming & Apps RoundtableÂ discussion at TechConneXt, where heâ€™ll focus on the intricacies of training and employment in the gaming industry. Manns will also discuss accelerated learning opportunities available in the gaming field, along with details on his gaming career. Attendees will learn of developments in gaming as Manns offers insight on the fastest pathways to well-paying tech jobs, high-growth jobs, or self-employment as a gamer.
Manns expertise has been cultivated for many years as he hails from Southern Methodist Universityâ€™s Guildhall where he majored in level design, and Kean University where he studied computer science and information systems.
BlackEnterprise.comÂ recently had an opportunity to chat with Manns regarding his influence in the gaming community. Check out an interview snippet below:
BlackEnterprise.com:Â What exactly is Sungura Games?
Manns: Well, Sungura is Swahili for rabbit. A motherâ€™s friend used to call me rabbit because he said I was fast. Itâ€™s synonymous with clever. Sungrura Games = clever games.
How did you get started with Sungura Games?
I started making games on consoles and PCs long ago, and later decided to start [my] own company. I wanted to make games that African Americans can relate to. Donâ€™t get me wrong, Iâ€™m open to making any kind of game, but there is a representation missing from the African American community, and I wanted to play an active role in resolving that.
What is it that makes Sungura Games different from other gaming companies out there?
We have an interesting model for making games. Our staff is primarily African American and is steady. Most of my staff is based on partnerships. If I need certain things, I try to contract to African Americans but, ultimately, I go with anyone who can do the job.
What made you decide to work for yourselves, as opposed to joining a pre-existing gaming company?
I knew this [was] something I could successfully do myself. I had the knowledge and the resources, so I figured why not?
Derek, whatÂ adviceÂ would you have for up-and-coming African American gamers looking to considerÂ gaming, or creating video games, as a serious career?
What I will say [to] those looking to join gaming is, make sure youâ€™re good at math. Also, look into schools that offer gaming in undergrad. I actually didnâ€™t earn my degree in gaming until gaining my masters from Southern Methodist University Guildhall as a level design major.
Attend the Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit at the Santa Clara, California, Hyatt Regency from Oct. 12ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬â€œ13. It will present a unique, unparalleled opportunity to make connections among the best and brightest of the African American tech communityÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬â€from Silicon Valley and beyond. At TechConneXt you will learn the secrets to Navigating Silicon Valley Community, Discover Opportunities with Tech Companies, Find Funding Sources for your business and Connect with established tech leaders. If you are apart of the tech community, or one of its many stakeholders, you simply cannot miss it! Register today at www.blackenterprise.com/techconnext. Just one month until the main event!