International computer game competition launches in Dundee

press release for immediate use - 8 June 09

Over 70 students from as far away as China began their 10 week computer game design challenge at the University of Abertay Dundee today.

The computer arts students and graduates from Canada, China, India, England, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Southern Ireland, and Wales are finalists in Abertay’s‘Dare to be Digital’ computer game design competition.

‘Dare to be Digital’, now in its tenth year, sees fourteen five-strong teams competing against each other to design a prototype game or other interactive digital entertainment. The teams beat off fierce competition and survived industry scrutiny during the regional finals, to secure their place in the grand final.

This is the first time that the finalists have all stayed in one host centre, at the Abertay Library in Dundee. Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay said:“Dundee is the perfect place for a gathering of such brilliant talent. We are proud of Dundee’s position as a UK leader in computer games and of course, proud of our contribution to an industry which brings large local investment and employment opportunities.

“Here the finalists will have access to some of the finest minds in the industry who will provide mentoring support, and thanks to the generous support of our technology partners they will be using the very latest in game development technology. This really is an opportunity like no other.”

The teams will now spend 10 weeks in the Dare hothouse at Abertay, with each team receiving a stipend and industry mentoring from some of the top names in the business. At the end of the 10 weeks the teams face the ultimate challenge - showcasing their games to an audience of thousands at Dare ProtoPlay, part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Enthusiasts can keep up with the progress of their favourite games online and interact with the teams via the Dare website www.daretobedigital.com .

Ends

Image 1 shows (left to right) Sunny Atwal, KarimHagstrom, Sriram Ganesh, Gracie Gong and Martin Brendem

Image 2 - Finalists gather outside Abertay

Higher reolsution images available on request

Notes for Editors

Dare to be Digital 09– Sponsors

Dare to be Digital is sponsored by many of the world’s leading technology and media companies and organisations including: Intel, Turner Broadcasting, Autodesk, Adobe, amBX, The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, and Dundee City Council.

Dare to be Digital 09 - Develop Accord

Black Rock Studio, Blitz Games Studios, BBC Scotland, Cohort Studios, Denki, Ninja Theory, Rare, Realtime Worlds, Rockstar North, SEGA and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) have all joined the‘Developer Accord’, to provide mentoring support for this year’s Dare to be Digital teams.

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


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