4 May 2012 - London, United Kingdom – Games and interactive entertainment trade body Ukie sponsors UK’s first ever schools Festival of video games. Over 1000 children, aged between 5 and 18, from across the UK have already signed up to attend Games Britannia.
Games Britannia is the first ever week-long festival of its kind, bringing a fantastic collaboration of British video game talent into the classroom, giving students a unique insight into the skills, techniques and qualifications required for a successful career in the gaming industry.
Ukie, through its Next Gen Skills Campaign, is leading on the delivery of recommendations from the Livingstone Hope Skills report. The report, also known as Next Gen, found that not only were children not aware that there is a video games industry in the UK but that they were also unaware of the skills needed to work in this industry. Ukie established the Next Gen Skills Campaign to change this and to ensure a flow of talent into the UK games industry. This includes working with children, teachers and parents to demonstrate the importance of learning maths, physics, art and computer science – a goal very much shared by Games Britannia.
Ukie CEO Jo Twist said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting Games Britannia. It’s going to be a fantastic festival and an important one in driving forward our shared goal of using something everybody loves, games, to get them interested in studying maths, physics, art and computer science. Having over 1000 children signed up already shows the appetite there is to understand more about how to make games, how the games industry works and gives us a wonderful opportunity to get children to have fun while they understand a bit more about the skills needed to create the next generation of video games.”
Games Britannia Director, of Brinsworth Academy Mark Hardisty said: “Having the UK games industry support us through Ukie is vital for Games Britannia, and will provide inspiration and aspiration for the many children that will take part. Their work in helping get computer science onto the national curriculum has opened the door for thousands of children to learn how to code. Games Britannia is all about making sure that children know more about the skills required to make a video game and take advantage of the opportunities that are there.”
Games Britannia is a grass-roots initiative conceived at Brinsworth Academy and supported by staff at Sheffield Hallam University. Senior Lecturer in Game Development at Sheffield Hallam, Dr. Jacob Habgood said: “The motivation and commitment shown by Brinsworth’s staff has been humbling and it’s been fantastic to support them in such a forward-looking educational initiative.”
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Notes for editors:
Games Britannia (incorporating Games Britannia: REPLAYED) is the UK's biggest videogames education and careers festival, involving seven days of workshops, activities and keynotes celebrating and inspiring the next generation of British videogame talent.
Games Britannia: REPLAYED celebrates Britain's rich heritage in designing and developing some of the most fun, innovative and cutting-edge videogames of the past 40 years.
Games Britannia is organised by a partnership including Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield Hallam University, Brinsworth Comprehensive School Academy Trust, Replay Events and UK Interactive Entertainment, and is backed by industry companies including Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sumo-Digital.
The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or Ukie (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that represents the whole of the UK’s video games and wider interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 (and formerly known as ELSPA), Ukie’s membership includes games publishers, developers and the academic institutions that support the industry.
Ukie works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, tax incentives and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.
One of Ukie’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.
In addition, Ukie works with GfK Chart-Track to compile weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.