Valve launched a brand new website today introducing a new service named Pipeline? What is Pipeline? It's Valve's way of offering an opportunity for teenagers and youth to get some perspective as to what it's like to work in the video game industry, made entirely by teenagers. Starting off, Valve's released a short video to introduce everyone to the project. The video's made entirely by Valve's teenage recruits, which is impressive in itself, right?
Probably the biggest question on everyone's mind is... why? Luckily Valve has a handy short FAQ with an answer to just that:
"There are two main reasons that Valve is creating Pipeline. The first is that we are frequently asked questions by teenagers about the videogame industry. "What is it like to work on videogames? What should I study? What colleges are best for preparing me? How do I get a job in videogames?" Pipeline will be a place where those questions can be discussed. The second is that Valve is running an experiment. Traditionally Valve has been a very good place for very experienced videogame developers, and not so good at teaching people straight out of school (the reasons for this and the tradeoffs are covered in the Valve employee handbook). Pipeline is an experiment to see if we can take a group of high school students with minimal work experience and train them in the skills and methods necessary to be successful at a company like Valve."
Currently the website is just a framework for the greater project ahead. In the next "month or so" Pipeline will grow into a proper resource, funneling information and answers to teenagers the world over. It's the next best thing to actually being an intern at Valve and working on the Pipeline project itself.
It's a bit too early to say whether or not this is an exciting project for Valve, but in concept it sounds like a great idea and resource. I know that when I was younger I scoured the internet looking for the best ways to break into the industry and of most of the time just ended up on creepy mail-lists or with a virus installed on my computer. Yeah, Pipeline is probably better.