Creative industries minister Ed Vaizey has met students and teachers at a world-leading university for teaching computer game development skills.
Visiting the University of Abertay in Dundee, Mr Vaizey was shown the new prototyping studio, which is benefiting from a £2.5 million Government grant, and heard about progress on the university’s UK-wide prototyping fund to support new games ideas. The project, which was launched last year, aims to create 30 new companies, provide support to 80 existing smaller businesses and create up to 400 jobs.
The minister also met students learning the skills to work in the computer games industry and congratulated the winners of the BAFTA Young Games Designer Competition whose game idea ’HAMSTER: accidental world domination’ is now being developed into a working prototype by the university.
The visit follows this week’s publication of the Next Gen skills review by Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope which highlighted Abertay’s “pioneering” teaching methods and recommended using its successful workplace simulation model across the UK.
“The UK is among the world’s best in games and special effects development but staying at the top will all depend on having the right talent, skills and expertise,” Mr Vaizey said. “Abertay was held up as the model that Higher Education institutions in the UK should emulate in a review published just this week by games industry experts. Seeing the facilities here and meeting the teaching staff it’s easy to see why.
“Students here are being given the practical skills that they will need when they start work, not just taught the theory. This is what the UK needs more of if we are to keep a place at the forefront of games development on the world stage.”