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New Report Published on UK Games Education

Wednesday 2nd February 2011

In July 2010 Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries asked top games industry figures to undertake a Review of the skills needs of the UK’s video games and visual effects industries and to make practical recommendations for how these needs can be met.

The Livingstone-Hope report has made sweeping recommendations in changing the education curriculum of those looking to enter the UK games dev industry. The paper claims that £1 billion more sales could be made within the next three years if educators and students are made aware of the potential of games development. The study pointed out that only 12 percent of 1,585 graduates who studied at 141 special videogame development courses from 2009 were able to get a job within six months of leaving college or university. It also said that 5 percent of teachers that teach art, ICT, science and maths consider physics as one of the key areas to gain a career out of videogame development, which the report says is vital.

Some of the recommendations from the report for improving and encouraging videogame production skills in the National Curriculum are:

•    “Young people must be given more opportunity to study art and technology together.”
•    Bring computer science into the National Curriculum as an essential discipline.
•    Sign up the best teachers to teach computer science through Initial Teacher Training
•    Use video games and visual effects at school to draw greater numbers of young people into STEM and computer science.
•    Set up a one-stop online repository and community site for teachers for video games and visual effects educational resources.
•    Include art and computer science in the English Baccalaureate.
•    Encourage art-tech crossover and work-based learning through school clubs.

“Videogames production plays to the UK’s twin strengths of creativity and high-technology and ticks all the boxes for the digital economy,” said Livingstone.

“But despite young people being passionate about videogames, they are unaware that games such as Grand Theft Auto and SingStar were developed in the UK and are unaware of the career opportunities in the UK.”

He continued: “We need to transform young people’s passion to play videogames into a desire to make them, whilst equipping them with the right skills for the industry. In the brave new online world, a second ’golden age’ for the UK games industry beckons. It’s an opportunity which shouldn’t be missed.”

The report researched and written by Ian Livingstone OBE and Alex Hope working with many contributors and NESTA and Skillset to produce an independent report into the skills needed for school leavers and graduates in order to enter the games industry.

Ian Livingstone is Life President of Eidos and one of the UK’s founding fathers of interactive entertainment. In 1975 he co-founded Games Workshop and launched Dungeons & Dragons in Europe. In 1977 he published White Dwarf, the UK’s first interactive games magazine and was its editor for five years. Alex Hope is Managing Director and Co-founder of Double Negative Ltd, the UK’s largest film-only VFX company.


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