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Dare to be Digital winners and BAFTA nominees chosen

Three student development teams walk away with £2500 prize and a nomination for BAFTA's One to Watch award

Three teams of five students have been named winners of this year's Dare to be Digital design competition, each winning a £2500 prize and automatic nomination for the BAFTA's One to Watch award.

Chosen by a panel of industry experts at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the winning teams were called The Butterflyers, Gentlemen of Fortune and Pixel Pirates. Each had spent the past ten weeks at the University of Abertay in Dundee, working on an original game using top of the range equipment provided for the competition by a range of sponsors, some of whom also mentored the competing students.

14 teams in total took part, with students coming from as far afield as China, India, Norway and Canada - although all three of the winning teams were from Dundee's own Abertay University.

Andy Nuttall of the BAFTA videogames judging panel said: "I was impressed with the level of quality at this year's Dare Protoplay, which just keeps on getting better.

"Each team showed determination to impress both through their games and their pitches, with plenty of originality and technical achievement on show. It was difficult to pick three to go forward, and choosing one for the ultimate ‘Ones to Watch’ award at the BAFTAs will be particularly tough."

"“Dare to be Digital is recognised as the number one new talent spotting event for the computer games industry," added Bernard King CBE, Abertay'’s principal and vice-chancellor.

"Students arrive with ideas, boundless energy and enthusiasm, and leave with new confidence and with much-sought-after experience on their CVs. More than 80 per cent of those who take part go on to employment in the industry."

The panel judging the competition was made up of representatives from companies including BAFTA, Blitz Games, Ninja Theory, Rare, Realtime Worlds, Rockstar North and Sony.

Now in its tenth year, Dare to be Digital is considered a valuable pathway for young talent into the games industry. Dare ProtoPlay in particular aims to highlight the prominent role of Scottish developers as a key part of the global games industry.

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Kath Brice