Teams from Abertay, Peking and Wolverhampton universities take home prizes

Dare to be Digital 2008 winners announced

The winners of this year’s Dare to be Digital competition have been announced.

Prize-winners from the competition, which invites 17 teams of five students to develop a game in 10 weeks, hail from across the UK – and, indeed, around the world, with Abertay, Peking and Wolverhampton universities all winning.

Three prizes of £2,500 went to Blue Skies (Abertay University Dundee) for their game Origamee, Ctrl_D (Peking University) for VegeMe (pictured) and Dark Matter Design (Wolverhampton University) for Boro-Toro.

The three are now automatically nominated for the BAFTA Ones to Watch award, the winner of which will be announced at next year’s BAFTAs.

Teams across the UK worked hard to compete in the biggest Dare competition so far – this is the event’s ninth year. Six teams were based at Abertay University (including the teams from India and China), four were based at Brighton, three at London, two in Birmingham, and two in Dublin.

Edinburgh University’s team Contrived also took home a prize, having received the most public votes for their game Grav, they won the Audience Award sponsored by Microsoft and a prize of £1500.

Judges for the main competition hailed from a number of companies, including Sony, Babel Media, Channel 4, Sports Interactive and others.

Richard Leinfellner, CEO of BabelMedia who chaired the judging panel, said: “As chairman of the judging panel it is my pleasure to relay that the panel of game industry experts felt the overall standard of this year’s entries exceeded all their expectation both in terms of breadth of subject matter and overall game quality.

“In a climate of spiralling costs and product slippages Dare consistently manages to highlight what is achievable by the best new talent looking to enter the games business in just 10 weeks.”

Professor Bernard King CBE, Principal of Abertay added: “As the originators and organisers of Dare to be Digital, Abertay University is extremely proud to be working with all the sponsors and supporters of Dare in promoting the talents, skills and creativity that contribute directly to the success of the computer games sector both in Scotland and across the UK and Ireland. This includes the other universities who joined with Abertay this year to run hosting centres across the UK and Ireland. They are: Birmingham City University, Brighton University, Goldsmiths, University of London and Trinity College Dublin.

 “It’s success is demonstrated by the very high proportion of previous contestants who have been hired by a whole range of companies such as Electronic Arts, Rare, Denki, Realtime Worlds and Lionhead; others have even set up their own games development companies, and during this year’s contest we were delighted to note the first commercial launch of a game developed in Dare to be Digital.”

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