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De Montfort Uni launches games course

De Montfort University in Leicester will play host to a new BA (Hons) course in Game Art Design thanks to an attending senior lecturer who claimed a national teaching award worth UKP 50,000.

Michael Powell, who gained his prize from the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS), will start the programme this September, focusing on the development of artistic elements, such as drawing, painting and sculpting, in computer game design.

He will also set up workshops in local schools and colleges around Leicester, for 16 to 24-year-olds wanting to use art in the computer games industry. Developer and publisher, Codemasters, will also provide teaching and expertise on the course.

"A lot of people are not aware how much 'traditional' art is involved in producing the characters and environments in computer games and they may not realise their talents are in huge demand in the games industry," said Powell.

"I'm looking forward to working with young people to develop their skills in different ways and pursue artistic careers, not just along conventional routes but in areas that are relevant to their own culture. I am hoping to establish a pool of local young talent who may not have thought about combining their interests in this way to go to university or to find a career."

The course has evolved from the successful BA (Hons) in Multimedia Design, which Powell ran from 1999 to 2003, and has also led to two other spin-off courses, Interactive Design and Animation. Students who have completed game design modules on the Multimedia course have gone on to work for a number of highly successful companies both in the UK and abroad, including Codemasters, Rockstar North and Eurocom.

For more information, De Montfort University can be contacted on 0116 2577400 or via its official site.

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