He’s not only a person, he’s a presence. His endless energy, insatiable intellect, thousand-watt smile—they fill up a room. No, a stadium. Speaking of, he loves electronic dance music. So if you’re thinking of calling him a “rock star,” better to go with “master DJ” or “DJ’s DJ.” Either way, Gordon Bellamy, who’s been in the video game industry for roughly 25 years, is legendary. His infectious enthusiasm and vast experience also make him an ideal mentor.
“I was fortunate enough to be mentored early on, so I know how important guidance and encouragement are,” says Bellamy. “I’m doing what I can to carry on that tradition. These students have a lot to offer, and, with some help, they will be valuable contributors, creators and leaders in the future. “
Gordon Bellamy, President and CEO of Gay Gaming Professionals
Bellamy fits into all three of those categories. Since graduating from Harvard University with an engineering degree, he’s worked with and for several high-profile companies, including MTV and Electronic Arts, where he was Rookie of the Year as a developer on Madden NFL. He’s also served as executive director of both the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the International Game Developers Association, and is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California (USC). In 2018, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Game Developers Conference, and, in July of 2020, he was awarded Games for Change’s most prestigious honor, the Vanguard Award.
Perhaps most significantly, Bellamy is president and CEO of Gay Gaming Professionals (GGP), a nonprofit advocating for LGBTQ+ members of the video game industry. Last year, GGP partnered with the ESA Foundation to begin awarding scholarships to college students studying game development while actively supporting their queer communities. When the scholarship debuted, Bellamy called it “a joyful discovery” of the recipients’ contributions.
“Joyful” is a great way to describe Bellamy himself. The game-dev vet and former executive encourages students at USC and elsewhere, whatever their backgrounds, to express themselves through games while learning the skills necessary to thrive in a multi-billion-dollar industry. He does the same for “grownups” as well. And if there’s anyone who can teach an aspiring developer how to network, it’s the ubiquitous Bellamy.
Check out what these ESA Foundation scholars, both recipients of the LGBTQ+ service award, recently had to say about his mentorship:
Audrey Webb, ESA Foundation Scholar and student at University of Texas-Austin
Meha Magesh, ESA Foundation Scholar and student at University of Southern California