Abertay welcomes‘progressive’ Scottish Affairs Committee report on video games industry

For immediate release: Monday 7 February

The report from the Scottish Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the video games industry in Scotland is a“welcome and progressive step forward for UK education and business growth”, the University of Abertay Dundee said today (Monday 7 February).

The Committee launched its report this morning at the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education at Abertay University.

In the report– which follows a visit to Abertay, consultation with industry and Parliamentary hearings– the Committee calls on the Government to recognise and support the economic and cultural importance of the sector to Scotland and the UK.

The findings also praise the“innovative practices in place at the University of Abertay, such as workplace simulation” and prototype funding, and calls on the Government to look at how such successful business-focused measures can be adopted UK-wide.

Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said:

“Today’s report is a welcome and progressive step forward for UK education and business growth, which recognises the crucial importance of training students with real-world business skills, and in supporting the industry through grant funding and encouraging new start-ups.

“We particularly welcome the Scottish Affairs Committee’s commitment to this as a live issue. Rather than just issuing a set of recommendations, the Committee has stressed this report is a first step and has called on the Government to respond.”

Last week the UK Government-commissioned‘Next Gen’ report on skills for the computer games and visual effects industries roundly praised Abertay as a model of best practice for education, and called for its successes to be translated into a template for universities across the UK.

Paul added:“What the Livingstone-Hope‘Next Gen’ report and today’s Scottish Affairs Committee report make clear is that without the proper talent, the UK’s potential economic growth driven by high-tech, high-value businesses will not be achieved.

“Both reports have also acknowledged the absolutely crucial role that our workplace simulation plays in feeding these industries with the talent they need, and in developing graduates with the skills needed to set up their own businesses.

“We look forward to working further with the Scottish Affairs Committee, and welcome this fair and balanced report as a positive step forward for the computer games industry.”

The report also calls for more work to be done on ensuring children playing online games have access to age-appropriate content, and recommends new Government investment into research in this area.

Citing evidence from Paul Durrant, the report called on the Government to make research funding available and linked that to Culture Minister Ed Vaizey’s willingness to look into funding opportunities.

“Abertay University is also committed to working on this important area, and welcomes ongoing discussions about how this research could proceed,” Paul added.

“We are exceptionally well placed to take this important work forward based on our

established international excellence in interdisciplinary research– including the application of games technology to cancer visualisation and police firearms training.”

(Ends)

More information on the report is available at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/scottish-affairs-committee/news/video-games-publication

For media queries about Abertay University, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Officer)– T: 01382 308935 M: 07837 250284 E: chris.wilson@abertay.ac.uk

For media queries about the Scottish Affairs Committee and the report, please contact Becky Jones– 020 7219 5693 jonesbl@parliament.uk 


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