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Games courses are 5 years out of date, says Braben

David Braben, boss of UK developer Frontier, believes that games courses in the UK are failing students and the industry because they are teaching skills that are between five and ten years out of date.

David Braben, boss of UK developer Frontier, believes that games courses in the UK are failing students and the industry because they are teaching skills that are between five and ten years out of date.

Speaking to a packed auditorium at GameCity in Nottingham, Braben echoed comments and reserach that outgoing TIGA boss Fred Hasson touched on earlier in the year - the skills being taught by games courses aren't what the development community is looking for.

"One of the things that is very worrying is there are over 80 games courses in Britain and the sad thing is they aren't really teaching what we need for games at the moment, which is a frightening thing," said Braben.

"Some are touching on it, but what I mean by that is they are teaching where we were five or ten years ago. Those are not necessarily skills that we need. Except in rare cases with a game like Thrillville that uses 2D design. That's not where we are, why teach that?

"The problem is because these courses are not very specialised they are not really teaching the key skills. Design is something they could teach but it's being taught on a very simplistic level," he added.

The developer, currently recruiting for new staff to work on existing projects including The Outsider and Elite IV, said that some courses are inducting students under false pretences, and the reality is that it is not a fast-track to a career in games.

"I don't want to write off all courses because that's not necessarily the case, but some of the ones that I've had sight off are very worrying because they are inducing people to go to the courses on the basis that they'll automatically get a job in the games industry, but I believe the figure is that only 25 per cent of people do," he said.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.