Boosted by government support, dev contest shaping up to be biggest ever

Record entries for Dare to be Digital

The Dare to be Digital development contest has received more applicants this year than any previous year.

The annual contest for talented computer science and art students from the UK and abroad has received 108 entries from 70 universities across 13 nations, and, as confirmed by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, support from the authority of £85,700 will means teams from China, India and Finland will be able to take part.

“Scotland is known the world over as a creative and innovative nation, with our computer games industry undoubtedly one of our global success stories – supporting around 1,500 jobs and contributing £30 million to our economy," said Hyslop. “Dare to be Digital is a fantastic showcase of the talent, infrastructure and cutting-edge skills that Scotland, and Dundee in particular, has to offer in this fast-growing and competitive market. It also provides an excellent platform for students to knowledge and develop their expertise whilst benefiting from mentoring from video games experts here in Scotland.

“Scottish Government funding has already enabled the international scope of this project to expand into India, China and Nordic countries, further enhancing Scotland’s digital reputation overseas. I am delighted to confirm that this support will continue in 2012, our Year of Creative Scotland."

“The talent that Dare attracts is really quite phenomenal, and our industry contacts like Rockstar North and Sony regularly hire competitors straight from the contest. It is a genuinely life-changing experience for the students who beat the very tough competition to get in," added Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at competition organiser Abertay University.

Dare to be Digital 2012 takes place from June 11, with the concluding Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival open to the public from Friday August 10 to Sunday August 12 in Dundee’s Caird Hall.

Winning teams from the Dare to be Digital contest become sole nominees for the same year’s Video Games BAFTAs’ ‘Ones To Watch’ award.

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