Campaign expanded to include 10 -18 year olds launches today at EGX London with support of Nominet Trust and games industry partners
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the launch of its reformed BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) initiative, which aims to encourage young people to consider a career in games. The announcement, which took place in advance of workshops with games industry professionals at the EGX London games show, marks a significant step in the development of the initiative as it seeks to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become the next generation of successful game designers.
Nominet Trust – the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder – will support the initiative as headline partner, working with BAFTA to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners include: Criterion Games (an EA Studio), Bethesda Softworks, SEGA, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, King, Jagex, Google, Pinewood Studios Group and Unity. In addition, Abertay University will continue to support further development of the games of the winners of the annual BAFTA Young Game Designers Awards.
BAFTA Young Game Designers was first launched in 2010 as a game design competition for 11-16 year-olds. Four years later it has evolved into a year-round programme of activity for 10-18 year-olds, including: a re-vamped website (www.bafta.org/ygd) where BAFTA members, award winners and nominees share their insights and advice through interviews and exclusive video content; a web series, fronted by internet celebrity Yogscast Kim, that gives a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; a range of teaching resources; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions about their entry, with the chance of gaining a personalised response from a games expert; and live workshops around the country.
The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition, which will re-open for entries in spring 2015, will be expand its age range to 10-18 year-olds, divided into age-specific sub-groups. Two additional categories, aimed at inspirational leaders, will also be added to the existing Game Concept Award and Game Making Award: a YGD Mentor Award for a mentor who has inspired young people to try coding or game design; and a YGD Hero Award for a teacher, after-school club leader or other educator who has inspired children to overcome some of the barriers to entry for coding. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony at BAFTA in summer 2015.
Harvey Elliott, Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, said: “BAFTA Young Game Designers has fast become an invaluable resource for budding game designers across the UK. With the support of our partners, including our new headline partner the Nominet Trust, we’re now able to reach more young people, from a wider age group, than ever before, with an enhanced online presence and more workshops. The two new categories for the YGD Awards will help us celebrate all the unsung heroes who give their time to help the next generation of creative game-makers.”
Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, said: “Young people are crucial to the future success of the UK’s thriving creative industries. It is vital that we nurture their digital creativity and give them a broad range of experiences that will develop their understanding, skills and networks. The direct access to industry experts offered by BAFTA Young Game Designers is an incredible boost to young people looking to develop a career in games design. Nominet Trust is delighted to be supporting Bafta in this year’s campaign and we’re excited to see the ideas and games young people come up with.”
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For more information about BAFTA Young Game Designers in association with the Nominet Trust, and to sign up for the newsletter, go to www.bafta.org/ygd.