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Dare to be Digital 2012 – the race for a BAFTA begins

For immediate release: Monday 11 June

The race for the unique BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ award begins today with the launch of Dare to be Digital 2012, the world-leading computer game design competition for students.

15 teams of five students have to build a brand new game in just nine weeks. All the games go on show to thousands of members of the public at the free Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival on 10-12 August in Dundee’s Caird Hall.

Hosted and run by the University of Abertay Dundee, Dare to be Digital gives exceptionally talented students a life-changing opportunity to be mentored by games industry experts – and to take the stage at the BAFTA Video Games Awards as winners.

Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “This year’s Dare to be Digital is shaping up to be the best ever. Competition to even get into the contest has been incredibly intense, with over 100 teams applying from 13 different nations.

“The 15 teams have a major challenge ahead of them – to build a game to put on show to thousands of members of the public at our free video games festival, Dare ProtoPlay, in August. We wish them every luck because this is a very tough, but very rewarding, challenge as they look to start careers in the games industry.”

The 75 student finalists will receive mentoring from members of Dare’s Developer Accord, hugely respected games companies with global reach: Blitz Games Studios, Codemasters, Cobra Mobile, Denki, Digital Goldfish, Jagex, Outplay Entertainment, Rare, Ruffian Games, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Ubisoft.

Professor Natanson added: “We’re delighted at the strong support our partners in the games industry continue to show for Dare to be Digital and our free Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival.

“The students who start Dare today have a very good chance of being hired by some of the most exciting, most successful games companies in the world. We look forward to seeing their finished Dare games – as well as great, great things from them in the future.”

The games are developed for a wide range of platforms: Android tablet, iPad, iPhone, PC, PlayStation Vita, Smart Goggles, Xbox 360, Xbox Kinect and Windows Phone 7.

Last week the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop confirmed the Scottish Government’s continued support for Dare to be Digital, with £85,700 enabling teams from China, India and Finland to take part this year.

The full list of nations represented at Dare to be Digital 2012 is: China, England, Finland, India, Ireland, Israel, Scotland and Spain.

Dare to be Digital runs from Monday 11 June for nine weeks, with the Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival open to the public from Friday August 10 to Sunday August 12 in Dundee’s Caird Hall. Last year saw over 9,000 people of all ages – from toddlers to grandparents – enjoying the fun-packed weekend.

At Dare ProtoPlay three winning teams are announced, who become the sole nominees for the BAFTA 'Ones to Watch' Award, a category created specifically for Dare to be Digital.

For more information, please visit http://www.daretobedigital.com/ or connect on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/daretobedigital) or Twitter ( https://twitter.com/#!/daretobedigital or using the hashtag #dare2012).

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For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Officer) – T: 01382 308522 M: 07837 250284 E: chris.wilson@abertay.ac.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

THE FINALISTS

The teams for Dare to be Digital 2012 are:

Team Game Platform Nation

Caracol Games Slick PC England

CLOCKinROCK Liminal Magibrawl Kinect Ireland

Dapper Hat Games Mr Montgomery's Debonair Facial Hair iPad Scotland

Fortified Castle Crusade iPad England

Gastank Games Interstate Outlaws Xbox Kinect Scotland

Ideer Colourful Navigation iPhone China

Kind of a Big Deal Starcrossed Windows Phone 7 Finland

LazzyBrains What a Day! The Story of a Fisher-worm iPad India

Loan Wolf Games Pixel Story PC England

Mad Rocket Games Ready, Steady, Roll! Android tablet Scotland

Must Make Games Badgers vs Turtles iPad England

Raptor Games Project Thanatos Smart Goggles England

Team Faceplant GravTech PlayStation Vita Scotland

Team.Iso IsoChronous PC Spain

The Nuclear Duck Marcelo Xbox Kinect Israel

 

THE UNIVERSITIES

The universities participating in Dare to be Digital 2012 are:

- Communication University of China

- Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland

- Image College of Arts, Animation and Technology, India

- Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, Finland

- London College of Communication

- Norwich University College of the Arts

- Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Israel

- Staffordshire University

- Teesside University

- Tel Aviv University, Israel

- Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain

- University of Abertay Dundee

- University of Central Lancashire

- University of East Anglia

- University of Portsmouth

- University of Salford

ABOUT DARE TO BE DIGITAL

Dare to be Digital is a video game development competition for undergraduates at universities and colleges of art, hosted and run by the University of Abertay Dundee.

Teams of student programmers and artists compete in an intensive 'hot-house' development environment over the summer vacation, building fully-functioning prototypes for assessment by industry judges and a public vote at Dare ProtoPlay in Dundee, 10-12 August 2012.

The three winning teams from Dare to be Digital each year become the sole nominees for the BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ Award.

For more information, please visit http://www.daretobedigital.com/

ABOUT ABERTAY UNIVERSITY

Abertay University launched the world’s first computer games technology degree in 1997, and runs both the UK Centre of Excellence for Computer Games Education and the international game design contest Dare to be Digital. http://www.abertay.ac.uk/

Through the Abertay University Prototype Fund start-up and small developers across the UK have access to funding to create new prototypes and attract additional investment, another practical way Abertay supports the growth of a sustainable, successful games industry. http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

Abertay has the highest number of Skillset accreditations for computer games courses (five out of 12 across the UK) as well as holding full Skillset Media Academy status, recognition of the important industry skills that are developed on its courses.

   


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