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All fun and serious games for Coventry

Friday February 23rd 2007

For Immediate Release

Coventry is to be home to the UK's first 'serious games' centre after receiving a £3.3 million investment from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.

The Serious Games Institute will be based at Coventry University Technology Park and build on the West Midlands' excellence in computer games to diversify into non-entertainment uses such as simulation, education and training.

The centre is currently being built and will be linked into satellite centres at Coventry University and the University of Warwick.

The Serious Games Institute will be fully operational by the autumn of 2007 but it will be holding a series of events to raise awareness between now and the opening date.

Computer games is a major part of the region's IT sector with major names such as Codemasters, Blitz Games, Games Domain and 160 interactive media companies located in the West Midlands.

The region also has a leading position in the creative digital media such as TV, film, animation and music.

Advantage West Midlands' funding through the scheme will be provided through the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire High Technology Corridor.

Mark Abrams, Advantage West Midlands Director for Coventry and Warwickshire, said: "Serious games are a way of learning and working that is designed for the digital generation.

"More importantly, serious gaming is a tool that will continue to evolve as new communication and education technologies emerge in the years to come.

"NATO and policy heads for defence, education and health in the US and Europe have already invested heavily in this sector's potential.

"This investment into the Serious Games Institute and the fact that the West Midlands is the most connected broadband region in the UK will put Coventry in a position to take advantage of these new and growing industries."

David Wortley, Director of the Serious Games Institute (SGI), said: "The SGI is a tremendous opportunity for the West Midlands to become a global leader in an emerging market place with huge potential.

"The Serious Games Institute will champion the rich pool of skills and abilities of companies working across the whole digital media sector and has already attracted a lot of international interest in its activities."

Mandira Sarkar, Innovation and Enterprise Manager at the Coventry Solihull and Warwickshire High Technology Corridor, said: "The Serious Games Institute will play a key role in the Technology Corridor but will have a genuinely regional and national impact.

"The Technology Corridor has a vision of linking imagination and technology and the SGI is a fantastic way of engaging people and businesses in something that is exciting and leading edge."

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