There is No Them

Lessons on leadership from the world of game development

Introducing the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy

with one comment

For the past several years I’ve spoken to a number of audiences about various video game development topics. A typical opening for me is to mention whatever my current day job is, perhaps helping company X deliver product Y. But, I tell the audience, what I really do, what I’m really passionate about, is ‘getting teams to great by creating a leadership culture’. Different studios, companies, products, business models, platforms, even countries, in the end don’t really change the core set of methods I’ve relied upon time and again to ‘get teams to great’.

Now, for the first time, I can honestly tell an audience that my passion for getting teams to great is my day job. I recently joined the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, at the University of Texas at Austin, as the 2nd member of the three-person team building the program from scratch.

Whereas there are many great programs focused on teaching core game development skills, the DSGA will instead focus on developing leadership and management skills for the video game industry. By taking those with existing video game development experience and putting them through an intense 9 month program the DSGA intends to prepare the next generation of industry leaders with the skills and experience they will need to succeed. To find out more about the DSGA overall check it our website at

I intend to use There Is No Them as a place to share how the DSGA is developing. This blog has always been a way for me to explore some of the leadership and management ideas that I’ve been stewing on for years. Now that my day job is also about leadership and management development I’m committing to getting back to more regularly posting.

Up next I’ll discuss what leadership has come to mean to me, what I mean by the phrase ‘leadership culture’, and how a ‘leadership culture’ is the key to great teams and great products.




Written by joshuahoward

May 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] others. I got the chance to take on this challenge at the end of the first year of teaching at the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy. I spent a while trying to distill the most important lessons of the year into a single lecture, […]

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