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Who dares wins

Immediate release

21 September 2005

Aspiring games developers have been head-hunted by top entertainment software firms after competing in a high-profile competition.

Students from Sheffield Hallam University were entered into the Dare to be Digital competition after displaying their abilities on the Entertainment Software Development MSc. Sponsored by Yorkshire-based industry support agency Game Republic, the students formed Switched On Entertainment and entered the competition.

The software they developed for the competition has now caught the eye of UK games development companies, and the trio are being inundated with job offers.

Switched On Entertainment - Phil Cousins, Philip Maguire and Stace Hindle - developed a game called 'Professor Fribble's Fun Factory', which combines educational content taken directly from the national curriculum with fun, entertaining mini-games. They also showcased the game at the Edinburgh International Games Festival, where it drew crowds of children and teachers alike.

Head of Yorkshire-based Game Republic, Michael Crampton, said:

"We picked the best team based on the strength of their shining presentation - they really stood out.

They really impressed a lot of people - if they'd stayed together and started their own business we would definitely have supported them."

Head honchos from Sony will be attending a guest dinner at Sheffield Hallam University on October 6, where the Switched On Entertainment team will demonstrate their software. Paul Holman, of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson, along with other games industry insiders, will attend the event.

Course leader Bob Steele said:

"The UK games industry is a rapidly-growing scene, and there is a need for the right people with the right qualifications. Academic courses need to deliver graduates with the right skills at the right level if they are to meet the demands of the industry. Employers are well aware of this, yet there are courses out there with the word games in the title that aren't necessarily as games-based as they imply. This course is designed to give students everything they need to find a career in the industry."

The MSc course is supported by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and is designed to give students the skills, knowledge and business practices to develop innovative applications in areas such as games programming and interactive TV, while giving them the chance to make valuable industry connections as they learn.

For further information: contact Joe Field on (0114) 225 2074

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