Strictly come gaming

7th August 2008

Scotland has been the stage for many a historic battle but this weekend the Capital is readying itself for a stand-off with a difference…

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre will play battleground for 17 teams of video game students from across the world as they compete for the top title in a global video game development competition.‘Dare Protoplay’, the showcasing event for global video games development competition‘Dare to be Digital’, is taking place on 10th-12th August alongside the Edinburgh Interactive Festival.

Organised and promoted by the University of Abertay Dundee in association with Channel 4, Dare to be Digital sees talented students from universities and art colleges from around the world competing to be shortlisted for the specially created BAFTA Video Games 'Ones to Watch' award.

The success of last year’s event, which saw almost 3000 visitors, has led to it being moved to larger premises. In addition to the opportunity to play and rate the games and find out more about how video games are made, there are two popular music acts performing live: the Hazey Janes (10th August) and Big Big Sound (11th August).

Entry is free for the event, which is open 10am– 6pm Sunday 10th to Tuesday 12th August and this year’s games have something for every age including: a toy who needs to find his body parts before Christmas; an end of the world style game which sees the player attempting to save Manhattan from a deadly virus; a young Maori on a mission to educate others about New Zealand’s heritage; and a‘fun and frantic game of over-the-top interplanetary combat.’

In addition to getting the first taste of the potential BAFTA winning games, visitors can also have a chance to part take in game creation processes by joining the interactive activities.

Young video games fans (age 6-13 years) are invited to come along on the opening day (10th August) at noon to register as Junior Judges and assess the entries. There are only a limited number of Junior Judges spaces available so come early to avoid disappointment.

Elaine Russell, Dare Project Manager, said“Each team of five students, a mix of artists, programmers and audio specialists, has spent the last ten weeks developing a prototype video game, receiving daily support and weekly training sessions from industry specialists.

“At Protoplay we see the results of all of their hard work and it’s a great opportunity for members of the public to experience what’s involved in video game development.”

Last year, a team from Abertay University took home the BAFTA prize. Members of last year's winning teams have since prepared a game for the Olympics Digital Art Competition in Beijing. While another previous Protoplay entry is being developed for X-box.

‘Bear Go Olympics’, the game developed for Beijing, will be showcased at Protoplay on a 360 degree globe sponsored by Edinburgh-based AV revolutionaries Pufferfish, in digital spherical displays.

For further information please see: www.daretobedigital.com

Ends

Issued by Victoria White, Communications Officer on 01382 308935 or e-mail v.white@abertay.ac.uk

NOTES FOR EDITORS

High resolution images available on request

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre is Fringe venue number 150

Host centres for Dare to be Digital 2008: Dundee, Birmingham, Brighton, London and Dublin. In each centre, teams have had access to desk-space and computer equipment, and received financial support and weekly training sessions from industry specialists throughout the 10-week competition.

Universities represented in the Dare 2008 teams: Abertay, Brunel, Birmingham, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Edinburgh, Image college of Arts, Animation&Technology at Chennai, London Metropolitan, Napier, Westminster, London South Bank, Beijing, Portsmouth, Norwich School of Art and Design, Ulster, and Wolverhampton

Broadcast sponsors: Channel 4 (lead sponsors), BBC, Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc

Public agency support: London Development Agency, Screen West Midlands / Advantage West Midlands, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, Scottish Government, SEEDA, Belfast City Council, The Digital Hub, Intertrade Ireland, Department of Education and Science Ireland, IDA Ireland, Dundee City Council.

Technology and software providers: Autodesk, Microsoft, Philips amBX, Pufferfish, Nokia.

Game developer and publisher community supporters: Activision / DemonWare, Blitz, Bizarre Creations, Codemasters, Cohort, Denki, Eidos, Genuine Games, Microsoft, NCR, NCsoft , Proper Games, Rare, Realtime Worlds, Rockstar North, Sega, Sports Interactive, Zoe Mode.

All of the above companies are supporting the teams through judging or mentoring, visits etcin some way


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