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Join the Digital Creative Revolution

Launch of Games Eden - business network for the computer games industry in the East of England

Thursday 22 November 2007

Photo opportunity - Andy Serkis, master of performance for motion capture as "Gollum" in the Lord of the Rings, "King Kong" and now appearing in PS3 console game "Heavenly Sword" at launch event with Jeremy Cooke, Chair of Games Eden.

Cambridge, Thursday 22 November 2007 - Games Eden, the East of England's first business network for the computer games industry will be officially launched 5 December, at New Hall, Buckingham House in Cambridge.

The launch event will introduce Games Eden, establish the aims and objectives of the network assess the state of the computer games industry and speculate as to where games will go in the future. There'll be an opportunity for potential members to sign up, voice their ideas and contribute to the proposed projects.

Hosted by new media pioneer Bill Thompson, guest presenters include leading game maker David Braben, Fred Hasson CEO TiGA and Andy Serkis, star of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and King Kong. The London-based actor applies his performance for motion capture to the gaming world by featuring in the new Playstation 3 Heavenly Sword.

As the industry extends its economic, social and cultural impact, Games Eden will stimulate electronic creativity and business development through a globally facing and innovative website and a series of networking events.

Chair of Games Eden, Jeremy Cooke said, "The benefits of Games Eden include delivery of a local developer led networking group, membership of TIGA, raising the profile of local creative digital talent and better access to strategic information and assistance."

Following an initial meeting in May 2007, there was support to develop and maintain a network to initiate measures of promoting and supporting the digital games entertainment community in the East of England, and to establish a lasting network to inform and discuss the latest developments and opportunities in the industry. Since this meeting, funding has been secured to enable a number of outputs to be developed over the next two years.

Games Eden is funded by EEDA, EEI, Screen East and FDMX with support from Cambridge Wireless, TiGA, EMMA, Gameware Development, Zoonami, Geomerics, Sony, Jagex, Nicetech and Ninja Theory as the Games Eden steering committee. All are contributing to this local game development community initiative which will have, for the first time, a dedicated local networking group.

Laurie Hayward, CEO of Screen East Said: "In a region with massive expertise in feature film and television production we are delighted to help ensure the growth of the computer games sector".

To join this creative digital revolution or book a place at this event email claire@screeneast.co.uk or call 01603 776926


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Notes to Editors

Games Eden provides:

1.A forum for identifying technological and creative innovations with the potential to create significant new market and business opportunities from all areas of the digital games entertainment industry;

2.A platform enabling the discussion and exchange of ideas and experiences;

3.Regional developers with a national voice primarily through membership of TiGA;

4.Drive and direction of business opportunities towards Games Eden members through events, brokerage, networking, market research and collaboration;

5.Promotion of the profile of Games Eden and its members within the East of England, the UK and globally;

6.The promotion of Cambridge and the East of England as a centre of creative and technical excellence for the digital games entertainment industry and to highlight the benefits of commerce and employment in the region;

7.A bridge between the digital entertainment community and academia, and the scientific and research community; and

8.The identification of and stimulation of new talent to enter into the industry.

Guest Presenter Biogs:

Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis is an impressive British character actor and master of performance motion capture with over 50 stage, television, and film credits and a highly coveted role in Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Serkis also performed as Kong in King Kong, which won him a Toronto Film Critics Association Award (2005) for his unprecedented work helping to realize the main character in King Kong, and a Visual Effects Society Award (2006) for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture.

Serkis began his acting career in theatre. He has appeared on almost every renowned British stage and in a host of popular plays.

Bill Thomson

New media pioneer Bill Thompson is a journalist, commentator and technology critic based in Cambridge, England. He has been working in, on and around the Internet since 1984.

He currently has a weekly column which appears in the technology section of the BBC News website, and contributes to other publications both on and off-line, including The Guardian, The Register and The New Statesman. He writes a monthly column for new net users for BBC WebWise, and a technology column for Focus magazine

David Braben

David Braben is a British computer programmer, best known for co-writing Elite, a hugely popular and influential space trading computer game, in the early 1980s. Elite was written in conjunction with Ian Bell while both were undergraduate students at Cambridge University. Another seminal game written by Braben was Zarch for the Acorn Archimedes (later released on some other platforms as Virus), which is considered to be the first true "solid" 3D game of all time.

After Zarch, Braben went on to found Frontier Developments, a games development company whose first project was a sequel to Elite named Frontier. Braben is still the Chairman and part owner of this company, whose recent projects have included RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and games based on the Wallace & Gromit franchise.

Fred Hasson

Fred Hasson brings experience in Film, TV and new media sectors. He has previously represented independent producers in film and TV and the BBC to Government. As a founder member of Tiga, he believes there is a lack of appreciation of development's creative role in the industry by retailers and publishers and that developers need to be more professional and responsible in their business practices.


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