DIS:E'08 Education for the Games Industry, Edinburgh Aug 12th

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DIS:E'08 Education for the Games Industry, Edinburgh Aug 12th

Ren Reynolds

Please distribute widely. Apologies for cross posting.

Invitation from the Virtual Policy Network and The University of Edinburgh to this year's Digital Interactive Symposium: Edinburgh: 


The focus of this year's Digital Interactive Symposium: Edinburgh (DIS:E) – August 12th 2008 is education for the computer games industry.

The issue of educational support for the games industry is a hot topic at the moment, especially in Scotland. In April 2008 the Scottish government controversially announced that schoolchildren are to be taught the basics of video game design as part of the country's new national curriculum - dubbed the 'Curriculum of Excellence'.

In the face of the UK's dwindling numbers of maths, computing and engineering graduates the country's two computer games industry trade bodies TIGA (The Independent Games Developers Association) and Elspa (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) have joined forced to announce the Games Up? campaign. Through Games Up? The industry has highlighted the need to improve education for the sector; ease skills shortages; and promote workforce diversity.

In response to the growing popularity of computer games both as a pastime and as career path a number of universities around the UK are now offering game development courses, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The methods and emphasises of these courses however vary widely. Skillset offers an accreditation for game development courses, but only four courses so far have this accreditation. Many academic institutions also question the value and meaning of such an accreditation.

The Digital Interactive Symposium: Edinburgh will bring industry and education together to debate best approaches to these challenging problems which face one of the UK's most successful sectors. The symposium will address issues such as:

What should the relationship between industry and academia be like?

Are universities responsible for meeting the needs of the industry?

Should the industry get more involved with sponsoring and nurturing university courses?

How can education help foster innovation in game development?

Speakers include Prof. Richard Bartle (University of Essex), Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson (CCP / EvE Online), Prof. Austin Tate (University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Gianna Cassidy (Glasgow Caledonian University)

The Digital Interactive Symposium: Edinburgh (DIS:E) is co-produced by the Virtual Policy Network (www.virtualpolicy.net) and the University of Edinburgh; and is in partnership with the Edinburgh Interactive Festival (http://www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com/).

This year's event is co-located with the Edinburgh Interactive Festival at the Edinburgh International Conference centre.

As with last year DIS:E are offering a special rate and joint booking with the Edinburgh Interactive Festival. 

To register for DIS:E only, at a cost of £50 (free for full time students, but registration still necessary), go here:http://www.virtualpolicy.net/diseBooking.html 

To book for Edinburgh Interactive and DIS:E - download booking form here.



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