The world’s leading computer games competition kicks off today as students from across the globe arrive in Dundee to take part in a 10 week challenge in an attempt to produce the next big game.

Dare to be Digital, now in its eleventh year, is organised and run by the University of Abertay Dundee and judged by some of the leading names in computer games development. The 2010 competition drew entries from over 11 countries and almost 80 universities worldwide, with finalists taking up the challenge at the Abertay campus in Dundee.

This year’s finalists are teams from 15 different universities from six countries including the UK, USA, Irish Republic, India, China and Sweden. The games to be developed will cover a wide variety of genres and platforms including social games, 2.5D adventure, sports party and real-time strategy models designed for PC, Android, Windows 7 phone and Sony PSP Go platforms.

Over the past 10 years Dare has produced some of the most exciting young talent to emerge from the academic sector and attracts support from some of the world’s biggest names in entertainment development. Sponsorship comes from heavyweights such as Turner Broadcasting, Intel, Sony, Wacom and NCR.

The participants will produce their prototypes using the very latest in game development technology. Elaine Russell, Dare to be Digital project manager, explains:“Securing support from sponsors such as Turner and Intel ensures that the finalists have not only the unusual opportunity of using equipment usually the preserve of leading developers and programmers, but that they have access to some of the greatest minds currently working in the computer games industry.

“Dundee is internationally recognised as a centre of the computer games industry and Abertay is a world leader in computer games design education. Abertay’s unique approach is to emulate as realistically as possible the real-world, hot-house environment of commercial games development, and to involve industry in the design and delivery of courses.

“Dare to be Digital mirrors this approach exactly, which is why students around the world see it as such an exciting challenge, and why the computer games industry views it as a hotbed of new creative talent. This year we had extremely hard selection criteria for entries and 2010 promises to be the toughest challenge for competitors yet.”

The 75 students have 10 weeks to complete their prototypes at the Abertay Dare hothouse, at the end of which the teams will showcase their games in front of thousands of visitors at Dare Protoplay, which is part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The competition is also backed by BAFTA, with the three finalists entering the‘Ones to Watch’ category at the annual BAFTA video Games Awards.

Ends 7 June 2010

Press contact:

Stephanie Robertson

Weber Shandwick

T: 07809 665 773


Notes to editors:

About Dare to be Digital

Dare to be Digital is organised and run by Abertay University, with sponsorship from Turner Broadcasting, Intel, Wacom, NCR, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Dundee City Council.

The teams are mentored by prominent video games studios including BBC, Blitz Games Studios, Cohort, Rare, Realtime Worlds, Rockstar North, SEGA, Sony and Ubisoft.

Technology support is provided by Adobe, Autodesk, Codesion, Crytek, Emergent, Hansoft and Sony. Teams of student programmers and artists compete in a 10-week intensive 'hot-house' development environment over the summer vacation, building fully-functioning prototypes for assessment by industry judges and a public vote at Dare ProtoPlay, scheduled for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

The three winning teams from Dare to be Digital each year become the sole nominees for the BAFTA“Ones to Watch” Award, and the 2009 Dare and BAFTA winning team also won a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award.

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