Games careers for kids – inspiring pupils through Dare Launchpad

Primary school children across Tayside will this week learn about careers in the computer games industry, with the help of the University of Abertay Dundee and YoYo Games.

Dare Launchpad is sponsored by EventScotland and is an extension of the Dare to be Digital game design contest for university students.

The four-day programme sees graduate company Future Fossil Studios teaching primary 6 and 7 pupils how to build a game using GameMaker, the hugely popular tool for simply building games from YoYo Games.

The school pupils taking part in Dare Launchpad will also get the opportunity to meet the students competing in Dare to be Digital, to learn more about the skills needed to create games.

Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “Almost every young person enjoys playing games, but many will never consider working in games as a viable career option.

“Dare Launchpad is a great opportunity to introduce primary school children from across Tayside to what really goes into making a game, and the subjects and skills they need to become the next generation of game creators.

“Inspiring and accessible role models are also a key part of this process and I’m delighted that one of our graduate companies, Future Fossil Studios, are leading this four-day event.”

Across the four days, school pupils from Dundee, Angus and Perth and Kinross councils will have the opportunity to learn more about creating games, including the different roles of artists, designers and programmers.

Kirsty Scott, Educational Manager for YoYo Games, said: “We are delighted to be part of Dare Launchpad.

“Many students enjoy GameMaker: Studio because of its ease of use, and teaching staff state it's a great product to implement problem-based, project-based learning. By eliminating the technical hassle associated with traditional game development, GameMaker puts students at the heart of the learning experience.

"This will create awareness in young people considering career choices, not just with a games company but a wider array of creative industries.”

Future Fossil Studios is currently developing PowderLine, a social snowboarding game for Android and iOS, with the support of the Abertay University Prototype Fund. The young company will also show the pupils another in-development game, Do No Harm.

The main Dare to be Digital competition finishes with Scotland’s biggest video games festival, Dare ProtoPlay, on 8-11 August in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square.

Dare ProtoPlay is another opportunity for young people to meet game creators, and to understand that they too can learn the skills to create the games they love to play. 

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