Saturday, February 14, 2009

UK Center for Videogames Excellence

Serious Games expanding the range of graduates


Via: University of Abertay Dundee - The Scottish Centre of Excellence for Computer Games Education

Press Release Excerpts

Abertay is to become the UK's first ever university Center of Excellence in computer games education with a £3 million investment from the Scottish Government.

The UK is the fourth largest developer of games in the world in terms of revenues, generating millions of pounds in exports for the UK and directly employing 10,000 people.

Abertay holds two of only four accreditations for undergraduate degrees awarded so far by Skillset in the UK and already enjoys the support of a number of industrial partners including: Realtime Worlds, BBC Scotland, BBC New Media, BSkyB, Channel 4, Electronic Arts, Blitz, Sony Entertainment Europe, Microsoft, Disney Interactive Media, and many others.

Many of these companies have been long-term supporters of Abertay’s “Dare to be Digital” project– the world’s premier computer games design competition for students.

The winning teams from Dare to be Digital each year are the sole nominees for the BAFTA Video Games Award.

Abertay is recognised as a world leader in computer games and interactive media courses, and has been at the forefront of games education and research for over a decade.

The new Centre of Excellence will expand the range of graduates from Abertay able to make immediate commercial impact, and to drive the future success of the computer games and interactive industries within the national and global economies.

Abertay’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Bernard King said:“The global, interactive, creative media sector has a potential market value to Scotland of up to $68 billion by 2012. If in Scotland we are to be successful in reaping that economic growth potential, then we need to be continually producing new interactive products and upgrading our workforce’s skills.

“This significant capacity-building investment by the Scottish Government establishes Abertay as Scotland's University Centre of Excellence in Computer Games Education. It recognizes that Scotland can be a global leader in this sector, and that Abertay can drive that ambition by providing graduates with the necessary world-class skills to succeed.”




Architects impression of redeveloped Bell Street campus

The majority of the welcome investment will be spent on the development of two new industry designed postgraduate courses and teaching and learning space to accommodate them. The studio-based masters programmes will be based on Abertay’s BAFTA – endorsed “Dare to be Digital” model with 40 graduates housed in a purpose-designed, professional environment during each 12-month course.

Computer games technology research at Abertay is already developing simulation tools for activities such as firearms training for the police, infection control models for the health service, and energy forecasting and town planning for local authorities.

Abertay’s new masters programmes will focus on real-world prototyping of innovative, interactive digital products, and graduates will work in teams comprising programmers, artists, developers and production managers. The teams would be mentored by high-quality academic and industry practitioners.