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Gaming "Not Just Entertainment" - Could Help Tackle Major World Issues

18 August 2005

Note to news desks: Extract from speech given by Professor Bernard King at the Dare to be Digital Awards, Abertay Student Centre, 5.00pm, Thursday 18 August ­ see separate press release for details of the event. Professor King is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abertay Dundee, which hosts Dare to be Digital.

Professor King said:

"All the feedback I have received is that the value of Dare to be Digital is its capacity to allow individuals to be tested, inspired and taught, about the creative process, about technology, the market and challenges associated with teamwork and project management. DARE is also immensely important because it provides a Oreal-world¹ environment where talent can shine through on a competitive basis.

"I am delighted that team members from previous DARE competitions have been hired by a whole range of companies like Electronic Arts, Rare, Visual Science, Denki and Lionhead, and some have even set up their own mobile games development companies as we saw with one team from last year¹s competition.

"Dundee is building to be a thriving place for computer games technology and the application of gaming technology. At this University, gaming is not simply about entertainment. As we deal with complex issues, including global warming, the processes and strategies of the gaming business have other applications.

"For example, the sophisticated visualisation techniques of gaming allow us to visualise complex mathematical patterns and relationships in ways hitherto unimaginable. There is another very serious side to this business, in the way gaming technology will allow us to predict the future in complex ecological settings, including global warming, greenhouse effects, and disease propagation.

"UAD is proud to have played a vital role in helping to nurture the computer industry in Dundee through the establishment of the world¹s first Masters in Software Engineering for Computer Games Technology, and Scotland¹s first computer games and computer arts degrees ­ degrees which have now been imitated by many British universities, and Abertay also founded IC CAVE ­ the International Centre for Computer Games and Virtual Entertainment ­ the only applied research centre of its kind in Europe dedicated to computer games and virtual entertainment.

"The leading business thinker Professor C K Prahalad recently described India as a Olaboratory for innovation¹ able to leapfrog developed countries with new products and services. He pointed out that India is already showing radical innovation, which is made possible because it is not inhibited by legacy systems, and because it is able to exploit a market at the bottom of the pyramid, marrying low cost, high quality, sustainability and profitability, along with cutting-edge knowledge work.

"The challenge for Scotland, and all of us in the West, is how to compete with this new world ­ and this is why competitions such as Dare are so important: they foster talent and competitiveness in ambitious bright young people like all of today¹s finalists and they are the ones who will take us into that competitive brave new world."

(Ends) NOTE TO EDITORS More information from: www.daretobedigital.com

Or www.abertay.ac.uk

Media enquiries: Kevin Coe, for the University of Abertay Dundee

T: 01382 561 571 M: 07808 713395

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