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Microsoft and Channel 4 sponsor X48

Two-day development event to see 80 students work on protoypes at the University of Derby

Microsoft and Channel 4 have announced a partnership to sponsor X48, a two-day videogames development session, to be held on March 20.

The Pixel-Lab hosted event will see 80 videogame design and development students make use of the University of Derby's computer games lab and Microsoft's XNA Game Studio 3.0 to create new prototypes, which will be reviewed by Microsoft and Channel 4.

"Channel 4 Education is excited to be sponsoring X48. We're fully behind encouraging collaboration and competition between young and emerging British indie gaming talent, and fully approve of the freewheeling creative environment that X48 is going to produce," commented Alice Taylor, commissioning editor for Education at Channel 4.

"We'll be setting the theme of the challenge, and keeping an eye out for both talent and games that we can continue to support or develop post-event."

Andrew Sithers, academic lead at Microsoft UK, added: "X48 is a great opportunity to bring like-minded students together and inspire them to create games using XNA Game Studio."

"Partnering with Channel 4 and the University of Derby brings together technology, creativity and talent at an event that will pit the UK's best student game developers against the clock."

Toby Barnes, managing director at Pixel-Lab, commented: "The UK is seen as a hotbed of talent in game design, and X48 will be a testament to that, giving students not only the chance to talk to commissioners but also create a game that may make it to market."

John Sear, programme leader in computer games programming at the University of Derby, said: "It's a huge honour for the University of Derby to be collaborating with Microsoft UK again. It shows the standing we have nationally in the area of computer games education."

"Our labs are designed around working in a real world game studio and are the ideal environment for students to be productive and creative in. I'm sure the teams will produce some fantastic games over the weekend."

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