If you ever have a technology problem, you'll probably ask a young person for help.
Two Warrnambool information technology (IT) experts are hoping to harness the fast-growing digital media industry to spark creativity and provide career pathways for youth and tech-heads.
David McIntyre and Richard Pritchard believe a digital media studio in Warrnambool could become a major community centre to help creatives gain digital-based business opportunities and compete in a global online marketplace.
"There are so many distinct possibilities for people to find a niche market to make a living in the IT world," Mr McIntyre said.
Mr Pritchard added there was confusion about what a job in IT, digital media and immersive technology actually encompassed.
"People think IT is just hooking up computers, tuning them on, solving people's problems and playing with phones. But actually there's a whole industry out there that is largely untapped.
"IT is an interactive collaborative industry exploring creativity of computer sciences and storytelling.
"There are many pathways where people can create digital assets and sell them to create an income."
But what the pair believe is lacking is a space where people can come together, use advanced technology and create these assets.
"Young people need opportunities to get into the IT industry," Mr McIntyre said.
"A digital media studio would be a place where people can come to, work on their projects, gain experience, build their own portfolios and become entrepreneurs, which would greatly benefit the whole community.
"We need to invest big time into the area of digital creativity."
By building this space, the pair said people would be able to develop their digital portfolios and ideas in gaming, film making, medical services, architecture or automotive and aeronautical design.
The digital media studio would also be a space where young people could thrive and both Mr Pritchard and Mr McIntyre, who met through working at South West TAFE, know some people aren't able to follow their digital creative pursuits.
"We see it all the time, parents look at their kids who just want to play video games and they think they are going nowhere or wasting their time," Mr Pritchard said.
"They come to us and say 'I don't know what to do with them' and sometimes this leads to kids zoning out of everyday life or dropping out of school.
"Parents don't understand the cross-pollination of gaming skills into IT career pathways.
"Young people sit their learning the games and the skills behind playing. They can then use those skills in design, programming, story-telling and animation. They just need the space to pursue it.
"The key goal of the studio is to create viable, sell-able, creative products for an online global marketplace. It could be a game, film, book or immersive experiences. The studio should only be limited by the passion of its collaborators."
While in the early stages of designing a community digital media studio, Mr McIntyre and Mr Pritchard hope their idea will spark interest for other people and that they can create a space to help people enter into a career in the various facets of IT.
They said people with complementary skills in 3D modelling could join with a programmer, musician and a designer to create virtual reality apps for a multitude of industries such as games, films, corporations, medical, architectural and automotive industries.
The studio would also be a space where passionate young people could thrive and both Mr Pritchard and Mr McIntyre said they knew many young people struggled to follow their digital creative pursuits
"We're just at the beginning," Mr McIntyre said.
"But the possibilities of what this studio could achieve are endless."
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