'Next Gen' author launches games education festival
The UK's biggest videogames education festival has been officially opened by the man behind the drive to put computer science on the national curriculum.
Speaking at the Games Britannia festival, which opened at MAGNA Science Adventure yesterday (Monday 2 July), Ian Livingstone OBE, co-author of the Next Gen report, said: "Coding touches almost everything we do in this world - not just games, not just visual effects and making movies - whether it's designing a car or fighting cyber-crime, code is at the heart of everything."
The Games Britannia festival brings creativity and technology together, providing schools and colleges with the opportunity to attend workshops and activities led by games industry experts and academics.
The festival opening also featured a surprise visit from videogame character Lara Croft, who abseiled into the venue in a stunt co-ordinated by UK Bungee.
As part of the festival, BAFTA held their Games Question Time event at Sheffield Hallam University - the first time it has ever taken place outside of London.
Speaking at the panel event, UK Interactive Entertainment's Andy Payne OBE said: "We’ve made a lot of progress in getting computer science on the national curriculum, but as an industry we also need to get teachers inspired not scared. Games Britannia is a shining example of how we can do just that.
"Demonstrating that education and industry can work together to engage, educate and inspire both teachers and students is a vital first stage. With access to markets now available to all game makers, we would hope to inspire this generation to become the next generation of digital creative entrepreneurs and make their mark in the connected global digital economy.”
Aimed at children aged from 5-18, Games Britannia draws children into programming, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as art, English, music and creativity through the engagement, fun and excitement of videogames.
The Games Britannia: REPLAYED part of the week (7 and 8 July) sees the festival open its doors to the public for a weekend of retro-gaming, consoles, PC and handheld gaming, arcade cabinets, the famous Replay Lounge and the Indie Zone - the best independently produced games including exclusives Majestic-12, Gunpoint, Girls Like Robots and Thomas Was Alone.
Games Britannia is organised by a partnership including Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield Hallam University, Brinsworth Comprehensive School Academy Trust, Replay Events and UK Interactive Entertainment. The festival is backed by industry companies including Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sumo-Digital.
· Ian Livingstone OBE speaking at the Games Britannia opening, attending one of the festival workshops, and with festival organiser Mark Hardisty.
· BAFTAgamesQT (l-r): Deputy editor of Official PlayStation Magazine Joel Gregory, Broken Sword creator Charles Cecil, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s Maria Stukoff, Sumo Digital’s creative director Sean Millard and UKIE’s chairman Andy Payne OBE.
· BAFTAgamesQT2 (l-r): Sumo Digital’s creative director Sean Millard, Broken Sword creator Charles Cecil, deputy editor of Official PlayStation Magazine Joel Gregory, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s Maria Stukoff and UKIE’s chairman Andy Payne OBE.
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