Sofia has over 20 video game studios, and Bulgaria has solid traditions in the game industry, reported Borislav Bogdanov, art director at Snapshot Games, during the discussion “Video games – myths and possibilities,” organized by ARC Academy.
Our speakers were also Milin Djalaliev, co-founder of ARC Academy, Vasil Anastasov, creator of DevHubOne, Georgi Atanasov, e-sports psychologist and Hellyana Velinova, PR in the game sphere and moderator of the discussion.
Bogdanov said that many big game companies have entered the Bulgarian market. Original games are also being developed by smaller companies. He added that the situation with the coronavirus was a renaissance for the industry and gave a strong boost to the purchase of games.
Milin Djalaliev cites statistics according to which there are currently about 3 billion gamers worldwide, and the average age of players is 32 years.
An entire generation of parents grew up as gamers, and, their children also grow up with games,” he pointed out.
According to a survey initiated by ARC Academy, 90% of Bulgarian households have at least one person who plays games.
The benefits of video games
The panelists agreed that creativity is highly prevalent in games. They are a tool for fun and learning. They develop independence and connectedness, providing an environment where children and teenagers can fail – something the school doesn’t encourage. At the same time, they are a good tool for developing cognitive skills such as improving reflexes, focus, and decision-making.
“Games are a safe space to release aggression and tension,” Djalaliev believes.
In some games, one can alter the scenario based on the choices one makes. This allows the player to learn more about moral choices and their consequences. According to Georgi Atanasov, games present archetypes in human thinking and raise philosophical issues.
“Games are a tool that allows us to experience the feeling of being in a role,” he added.
“The games put you in an environment where you have an equal chance, regardless of whether you are a man, a woman, a person with physical characteristics,” said Hellyana Velinova.
At the same time, they give us access to different cultures.
According to Vasil Anastasov, video games are a very good tool for learning different things, such as history, since many games use real historical facts.
Regarding the relationship between children and parents in the context of playing video games, psychologist Georgi Atanasov advised parents to approach the child as an equal and explore his interest, to see what needs a game satisfies in the child.
Video games as a profession
Art director at Snapshot Games, Borislav Bogdanov, explained that the game industry offers a rich palette of professions – programmers, game designers, artists, testers, marketing specialists, etc. Due to COVID-19, companies switched to a remote work model, and Bulgarian talents became available to companies worldwide. In an effort to retain their employees, Bulgarian studios have to equalize pay with foreign ones.
Bogdanov believes that new opportunities are opening up for young talents in the field.
At ARC Academy, we believe in developing talent, so together with our partner Chibi Phoenix, we provide a scholarship to study Game Design, 2D Art and 3D Art programs. You can learn more about the competition’s conditions and the deadline at the link.