Waterloo Road and Outnumbered stars gather at London’s Westfield to launch second year of the initiative.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is launching the 2011 BAFTA Young Game Designers competition in association with Electronic Arts, an initiative which encourages young people to consider a career in video games.
The competition was first launched in 2010 and attracted hundreds of entrants from across the UK. Building on last year’s success, more teams of three 11-16 year olds will be invited to submit their design for a new video game, with the winning team announced at the British Academy Children’s Awards in November 2011.
The BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative aims to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become the next generation of video game designers. By engaging with the widest possible audience, BAFTA aims to demystify the creative process of games development and highlight how key qualifications in areas such as maths, physics and computer science are essential for those wishing to enter the industry.
On 28 June, BAFTA will host an event at Westfield London shopping centre to launch the competition. BAFTA Young Game Designers Ambassadors, Hope and Millie Katana from Waterloo Road, and Tyger Drew-Honey from Outnumbered and CBBC’s Friday Download, will join groups of school children from Burlington Danes Academy, Newman Catholic College and St James Senior Girls’ School in London for games demos and workshops that reveal how games are made. The event will take place between 10am and 9pm and press and public are welcome to attend. Speakers also include children’s TV presenter Nigel Clarke, Jon Kingsbury, Programme Director of Creative Economy at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and EA’s Harvey Elliott, VP and General Manager, Bright Light.
BAFTA is partnering with Electronic Arts, NESTA and Abertay University to deliver this unique competition. The winning team will receive a prize package that includes a BAFTA Young Game Designers Award and a valuable work experience stint at EA games studio, Bright Light. The winning team will also receive a prototype of their winning game developed with Abertay University.
Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“I am delighted BAFTA is running the competition again. Initiatives like this one help encourage and nurture emerging talent while also inspiring others to be more creative. I hope to see the winners of this competition going on to become top designers in the UK games industry and produce the blockbuster hits of the future.”
Dan Pearce, a member of Beached Whale Productions, who won the 2010 BAFTA Young Game Designer competition for their game design HAMSTER: accidental world domination comments:
“It can be frustrating being a teenager who’s determined that they want to be a game developer of some sort. There’s often a bit of miscommunication between people who are in the industry and those who are desperate to squeeze their way in; BAFTA Young Game Designers is a great way of bridging the gap. I hope you’ll trust me when I say that BAFTA Young Game Designers is without a doubt one of, if not the best things that could have happened to me and my team.”
The competition is open to all children aged 11-16 and further details about how to enter can be found at www.bafta.org/ygd .
Media attendance is welcome and journalists interested in attending should contact Romley Davies Publicity for accreditation and a detailed schedule of the event. For further information, please contact:
Print & Broadcast:
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit www.bafta.org .
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices, and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA Mobile™, and POGO™. In fiscal 2010, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.7 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million units. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at www.ea.com/uk/press
NESTA is the UK’s foremost independent expert on how innovation can solve some of the country’s major economic and social challenges. Its work is enabled by an endowment, funded by the National Lottery, and it operates at no cost to the government or taxpayer. NESTA is a world leader in its field and carries out its work through a blend of experimental programmes, analytical research and investment in early-stage companies. www.nesta.org.uk
About Abertay University
Abertay University's Institute of Arts, Media and Computer Games is the UK centre of excellence for computer games education. The Institute's taught portfolio includes highlights such as four of the UK's ten Skillset accredited programmes including a Masters in Professional Practice in Games Development with forty publicly funded places allocated for UK and EU students. All courses reflect the high level of industry involvement Abertay University's activities, underpinned by academic rigour. The Institute is also the home to Dare to be Digital, the international talent competition that provides the exclusive pathway to the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award which this year attracted entries from students from over eighty universities world-wide. Abertay University also has a portfolio of innovative interdisciplinary research associated with the visualisation of complex data using games technology. This work spans the whole University and also includes disciplines within Arts, Media and Computer Games. The Institute's business support project provides grants to small games developers for prototype games projects and is run by a team recruited from industry. www.abertay.ac.uk/studying/schools/amg/