Develop Education Week: NESTA paper to show how UK dev sector can raise its game

Livingstone: ‘Eye-opening’ skills review tomorrow

The Livingstone-Hope Review, published tomorrow, will expose a serious level of misunderstanding amongst game development educators.

The paper will also advise the government on action that could transform the UK into the best source of talent for the games and visual effects industries.

“The UK has a longstanding reputation for creative excellence in video games production. This Review lays down the skills foundation enable this to continue into the future,” Eidos life president Ian Livingstone told Develop.

As part of a dedicated Education Week, Develop will publish key findings from the review every day, starting with initial facts outlined below.

On Wednesday Develop Online will also publish advice on how to get in the industry from its leading starts such as Phil Harrison, Alice Taylor, Chris Lee, Jon Burton and Paulina Bozek.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey commissioned the NESTA skills review back in July 2010, calling on Livingstone and Alex Hope – founder of UK VFX house Double Negative – to produce an Independent Review of Skills for the UK’s two digital entertainment sectors.

Develop, which has seen the skills review, believes it reveals a shocking lack of knowledge amongst UK educators and students.

The report has found that “there are very low levels of public awareness of the strength of the UK in video games development and visual effects professions”.

Initial findings

Only three per cent of 11-18 year-olds recognise maths as the most important subject for a job creating games.

Six per cent of the same age group think Art was the most important discipline.

Seven per cent of parents recognise Maths as the most important subject for game development, while nine per cent think Art is the most principal discipline.

Fifteen per cent of teachers name Maths the key subject, while just nine per cent named Art.

"Even amongst teachers only 1 per cent think that physics is most important for video games,” the report’s authors claimed.

About the review

The Livingstone-Hope review has been produced with NESTA and Skillset and undertook seven separate strands of research for its completion, which included: a survey of 564 young people, a survey of 918 parents, a survey of 403 teachers, interviews with 19 course assessors at the UK universities producing the best specialist graduates for the sector, a survey of 224 UK video games companies, and an online survey that was completed by 910 people currently working or seeking to work in the UK video games industry.

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