The Scottish Government has pledged sponsorship of£60,000 allowing two international teams to join the Dare to be Digital computer game design competition at the University of Abertay Dundee.
This new sponsorship will bring two teams from India and China to the Dare hothouse at Abertay University where they will spend ten weeks alongside another 13 teams of student developers and artists from across the UK.
The teams will work in real-world studio style conditions with a stipend, putting together prototype computer games which will then be showcased to the public and industry representatives during the Edinburgh Festival season in August.
Most importantly, the teams will receive mentoring support from some of the best games development studios in the UK during their time at Abertay.
The sponsorship deal comes just days after a£3 million investment by the Scottish Government towards creating the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Computer Games Education at Abertay. Culture Minister Michael Russell said:“In supporting Dare to be Digital, the Scottish Government is recognising the innovative opportunities this exemplary programme offers. As well as giving some of our most talented young digital designers exposure to mentors in the gaming industry, we are welcoming motivated and talented people from overseas, showcasing Scotland as a great place to live, work and study.”
Paul Durrant, Abertay University's Director of Business Development said“The video games industry is expanding rapidly with annual growth of 11 % and a projected global turnover of $46 billion. In the present economic climate, investment in the talent base that underpins the industry is vital and a global industry requires a globally sourced talent base so we are delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised the international dimension in this way”
The three winning teams from Dare to be Digital each year become the sole nominees for the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, the ultimate honour for new video games development talent. A Chinese team, sponsored by the Scottish Government last year, is one of the three teams up for that award . They will be back to the UK later this month to attend the BAFTA announcement ceremony.
The sponsorship also enables Dare to be Digital to provide each international team with a fifth member– a Scottish student who will also act as an ambassador, helping the international students to acclimatise in Scotland. The Scottish student will visit their international team in their home country before travelling to Dundee together in June.
Each team will also have a‘buddy’– someone of their own nationality who has been living and working in Scotland for some time– to help them settle in and integrate with the UK contestants. Recruitment activities have already been started both in India and China with assistance from the British Council.
Strict selection criteria are applied in choosing the teams in the UK and internationally. Deadline for entry for all Dare 2009 participants is 15 March. To apply, go to the Dare to be Digital web-site: http://www.daretobedigital.com
The Scottish Government joins the list of Dare to be Digital 2009 sponsors including Turner Broadcasting, Autodesk, Adobe, amBX, Microsoft, Liverpool John Moores University, Scottish Enterprise and Dundee City Council,
The full list of games developer sponsors will be announced during March.
For media information please contact Vicki White on 01382 308935 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Dare to be Digital is a video games development competition for undergraduates at universities and colleges of art. Teams of five students, usually a mix of artists, programmers and audio specialists, assemble in the development hothouse for 10 weeks to develop a prototype video game, receiving daily support and weekly training sessions from industry specialists.
At the end of the competition, the prototypes are displayed at a special talent showcasing event in Edinburgh, Dare ProtoPlay, alongside the Edinburgh Interactive Festival in August. The general public as well as industry experts get to play and vote for the games. Prizes are then awarded to the winning teams at a special awards ceremony. Later in the year the winning teams attend the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted "Ones to Watch Award.