Dare to be Digital final to take centre stage at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The best raw talent in computer games design from around the world is preparing for a final battle at Dare ProtoPlay (14-16 August), part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Dare ProtoPlay, presented by Abertay University and powered by Intel, has grown out of the world-leading Dare to be Digital competition and aims to celebrate young talent through a mini video-games festival. It is a unique cultural event for the games industry showcasing talent, IP, research, and much more, and serves as a battleground for creativity and culture in games development.

Fourteen brand new computer games, developed by teams during this year’s Dare to be Digital competition, will fight it out at Dare ProtoPlay to win the public vote and the endorsement of a panel of industry experts.

This year’s Dare ProtoPlay will also see digital toy factory Denki present the first opportunity to play a preview of Quarrel, their new Xbox Live Arcade game. Everyone is invited to play and give feedback that will directly affect how the game looks and works when it is released in 2010..

In addition, Dare ProtoPlay will also feature several other exciting new elements: a music workshop by Yann Seznec, who will use Wacom pen tablets to create music instruments; Abertay PhD research programmes based on video games technology; a Dare iPhone game preview in association with Digital Goldfish; a special Career Workshop in association with BAFTA targeted for teenagers and much more.

Almost 100 teams bid for the 14 places available in this year’s Dare to be Digital, and teams from Canada, China, England, India, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland and Wales made the cut.

The finalists have spent the past 10 weeks in the Dare to be Digital‘game development hothouse’ at Abertay University with access to top of the range equipment and mentoring from from Developer Accord formed by major video game professionals.

Their task– to produce a fully-functioning prototype video game based on an original idea of their own or one submitted by members of the public at the start of this year’s Dare to be Digital.

ProtoPlay celebrates the strengths of the international games business, but also highlights the prominent role of the Scottish computer games sector as a key part of the global industry. The event is taking place shortly before Abertay University launches its new Institute for Arts, Media and Computer Games next month, which will be the UK’s first national university centre of excellence for computer games education.

The top three teams in Dare to be Digital will be the sole nominees for the highly coveted BAFTA Video Games Ones to Watch Award next year.

Among the visitors to Dare ProtoPlay will be Scotland’s Culture Minister Mike Russell MSP, who will meet teams and try out some of the games on Friday 14 August.

Elaine Russell, Dare to be Digital Project Manager, said“Dare to be Digital is frequently hailed as the best new talent spotting competition in the UK and also the best model for video games education. Over 80% of Dare participants go onto employment within the industry.

“3 years in a row, Dare ProtoPlay has grown stronger and better every year. It has gained many loyal followers. It will be a video games event to watch in the north.”

Entry is free for the event which is open 10am– 6pm Friday 14th to Sunday 16th August.

For further information including a preview of the games and team blogs, please visit: www.daretobedigital.com

Ends

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

Images attached show graphics for 3 of the 14 games. High resolution 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, NCR, Wacom, The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, Dundee City Council, The Digital Hub Dublin, The Department of Education and Science International Section, Belfast City Council, Invest Northern Ireland

Dare to be Digital 09 - Develop Accord

Blackrock 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.

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre is Fringe venue number 150


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