Meet Jonathan Newman, the 2022 recipient of the Cody Sawatsky Memorial Award in Gaming

Jonathan Newman is a fourth-year SIAT student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in media arts and he was recently presented with the Cody Sawatsky Memorial Award in Gaming.

Since high school, Jonathan has been interested in designing and creating games. He was a member of his high school's game development club and is currently a member of the SFU game development club. While at SIAT, Jonathan landed a co-op role working at a small independent game studio called Luduare Games Group, his first role in the industry.

Jonathan has always been creative and knew from a young age that he wanted to be a creator. 

"I’ve been a musician my whole life, I’ve loved telling stories my whole life, I’ve just always had a desire to create," shared Jonathan. "SIAT was the perfect opportunity for me to explore all those different avenues and combine them into projects I can be proud of."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jonathan started making games and participating in design jams in his spare time. He also started pursuing courses at SIAT that would help him learn more about game design.

"Game design is problem solving," Jonathan shared when asked what he enjoys most about game design. "It’s solving the problem of 'how do I make things fun for the player?' And in the end, that’s what matters the most."

Jonathan was this year's recipient of the Cody Sawatsky Memorial Award in Gaming, an award that recognizes a SIAT student who has succesfully completed course work in gaming and has demonstrated outstanding project work within the completed course work. The award is presented in memory of Cody Sawatsky, an engaged and driven SIAT alumnus who was very successful as a video game producer and designer in Vancouver. Cody passed away in 2016.

"It makes me very proud that I was chosen to be a part of Cody’s legacy." said Jonathan of the award. "I thought it was really amazing for his family to give back to the game development community in this way, and it’s given me the validation I needed to continue pursuing game design as my career. The Sawatsky family has been very kind and generous and I hope they continue to carry on Cody’s legacy and encourage more aspiring game designers."