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International gaming LEADERS support development of new UK talent



GAMES:EDU 06, the International conference for games education announces speakers from the leaders of the next generation gaming industry, including EA, Codemasters, Activision, SCI/Eidos, Blitz Games and Climax Group. July 14th 2006, Brighton.

The conference, which takes place as part of the Develop Conference in Brighton on Friday 14th July, will feature representatives from Microsoft, EA, Codemasters, Activision, SCI/Eidios, Blitz Games and Climax [Ian Livingstone, Mark Johnstone, Fred Gill, , Jolyon Webb and key directors from Climax). The conference will focus on the current and future education needs of the gaming industry, bringing industry experts and educators together to encourage debate and the sharing of best practice.

Supporting GAMES:EDU are some of the UK's foremost educators from Abertay University, The University of Derby and the National Centre for Computer Animation at The University of Bournemouth.

"Abertay has been a leader in industry relevant game design courses for some time. GAMES:EDU will become a key event in the Abertay calendar as a place where academics and Industry can discuss, share, and develop best practise in all areas of game development and production."
Dr Jim Terkeurst, Research and Business Development Manager for IC CAVE, Abertay.

Mark Johnston, Microsoft's Education Officer, comments. "Microsoft is fully committed to helping develop academic work in games in the UK. GAMES:EDU is an excellent opportunity for academics and games developers to begin a conversation which will help keep the UK as a growing centre of excellence in the gaming industry to ensure graduates have the right skills and knowledge to enter into the industry and contribute to that success."

Skillset, the sector skills council for the audio visual industries, is fully supporting the one-day conference and will announce the games courses to receive Computer Games Industry accreditation at a special champagne reception which takes place on Thursday 13 July to officially launch GAMES:EDU 06.

GAMES:EDU 06 features a series of 3 interactive workshops entitled: "The Skillset Sessions" these focus on disciplines that are currently being taught (Art, Game Design, & Programming) and how with industry involvement these disciplines can be better suited to industry needs, the overall aim being to develop the UK as the world's source of creative and innovative talent in the future for all forms of computer gaming.

Kate O'Conner, Skillset's Executive Director - Policy and Development and Deputy Chief Executive comments. "Skillset strongly believes industry engagement is key to developing relevant and effective training and education. Skillset's accredited network of courses represents best practice in this area and offers targeted provision ideal for entrance to the games industry. GAMES:EDU will help the academic community understand why engagement is important and how industry involvement and industry focused tuition benefits students, employers and universities alike. By providing an open space for discussion GAMES:EDU will help develop the quality of this accreditation program and encourage further interaction between Education Institutions and Industry."

John Sear, Head of Computer Game Programming, University of Derby comments. "With industry involvement, games degrees can be successful in exceeding the demands of the games industry and deliver a plentiful supply of suitable graduates. Academics need to have a space where ideas can be discussed and where we can engage with the industry, GAMES:EDU does exactly this and is an exciting and vital new conference for academics the world over. We are happy to be a part of it."
GAMES:EDU is an essential date for educators from across the UK in the field of gaming and games development. GAMES:EDU 06 is the first conference worldwide that brings together the UK's foremost educators from across all disciplines to connect directly with developers, publishers and games producers. For more information see www.gamesedu.co.uk.
The GAMES:EDU 06 Day Pass is £110 or £95 if booked before Wednesday 31 May. For registration information see www.gamesedu.co.uk.

GAMES:EDU 06 is part of the Develop Conference which takes place in Brighton from Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th July. See www.developconference.com.

GAMES:EDU is supported by Skillset, Climax Group, Grant Thornton, EA, Activision and Microsoft

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NOTES TO EDITORS

  • GAMESEDU is co-ordinated by Pixel-Lab and Tandem Events.
  • Pixel-Lab is a computer games and digital media development agency working across the UK's computer game and digital media industries. Pixel-Lab advises, develops and delivers strategies to support growth in the games industry from skills development to support infrastructure. Pixel-Lab also works with organisations outside the industry, enabling them to harness the power of games. www.pixel-lab.co.uk
  • Tandem Events are the UK's leading organiser of specialist exhibitions and conferences for the computer games and interactive entertainment industry. With over 20 years experience across a number of market sectors, their focus is on bringing business communities together, to offer unique, face-to-face commercial and networking opportunities. www.tandemevents.co.uk
  • Skillset's key actions and initiatives are set out in Creating the Future the UK Skills Action Plan for Interactive Media and Computer Games Industries. This plan sets out the issues facing the games industry as it continues to grow and mature. Importantly the plan outlines activity which Skillset, guided by the Computer Games Skills Forum, will undertake to support the UK workforce's development and help ensure that the UK continues to be one of the best places to make games in the world.
  • The first key initiative from this plan to get underway is for the games industry to take an active role in the assessment and accreditation of degree level courses in games. Extensive industry consultation was undertaken resulting in a series of recommended criteria. See www.skillset.org/games.
  • Since its foundation in 1988, Climax has rapidly grown into one of the world's leading independent developers of interactive software. Made up of four divisions LA, Action, Racing and Handheld, the award-winning company is currently undergoing further expansion in both America and Europe. Constantly at the epicentre of technological development, Climax is built upon a determination to create cutting-edge games that boast the most advanced technology and superior gameplay.
  • Grant Thornton UK LLP is a leading financial and business adviser with 32 offices nationwide. Our computer games specialist group was set up to exploit our knowledge, interest and involvement in the UK gaming industry. Our team is well informed on the issues of the UK gaming sector due to our involvement in the sector on both a professional and personal level. We are the UK member of Grant Thornton International, one of the world's leading international organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms. Although Grant Thornton International is not a worldwide partnership, the firms share a commitment to providing the same high quality service to their clients wherever they do business.
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