Dare Battle Begins



A unique international computer
games competition kicks off in Dundee this morning (Monday 13th June 2005), as
48 students from across the globe arrive in the city to prepare for a ten week
battle where competitors go head to head in a bid to become the future stars of
the industry.

Dare to be Digital is a competition
open to students from Universities and Art Colleges and is based at the
University of Abertay Dundee, which runs the competition in partnership with
Scottish Enterprise Tayside and Dundee City Council.

The eight teams from across the UK
and Ireland to make it through to the prestigious Dare to be Digital competition
submitted a concept for a new and original computer game or educational
entertainment product. Judges were not only looking for the most creative ideas,
but those that fulfilled the greatest market potential. Receiving help from
industry specialists and a project fee of 1700, the teams will have just over
two months to present a finished digital prototype and business sales document
which can be pitched to investors.

Due to the growing international
profile of Dare in the games community, the competition goes global for 2005,
with the teams joined by a further eight scholarship students from Singapore,
Hong Kong, China, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand – supported by funding
from the Scottish Executive as part of its "Fresh Talent" initiative.

Scottish Enterprise Tayside chief
executive Shona Cormack commented: "’Dare To Be Digital’ is now firmly
established as the premier competition which brings together the up and coming
global talents of tomorrow in the creative industries. Given the growth and
vibrancy of the creative industries in Tayside, it is fitting that year on year
this competition attracts more competitors from overseas to compete in Dundee."

Teams taking part in Dare 2005 are
‘Switched on Entertainment’ from Sheffield, Hallam and Leeds Metropolitan, ‘Team
Play’ from Wolverhampton, ‘Silver Tongue Software’ from North West Institute of
Further and Higher Education, Northern Ireland, ‘RacXing’ from Ballyfermont
College of Higher Education and Dundalk Institute of Technology, ‘Missing Link’
from the University of Abertay, ‘Evil Machines’ from Glasgow Caledonian and
Glasgow School of Art ‘Gene Therapy’ from the University of Abertay and ‘The
Frozen North’ from Abertay and Duncan of Jordanstone.

A record number of students entered
Dare to be Digital 2005, with 39 teams prepared to fight it out in a games
competition hailed by industry bible, Develop, as "the closest you can get to
commercial game development."

"Dare to be Digital is now a firm
fixture on the Abertay calendar and every year brings yet more evidence of its
increasing significance to the worldwide games industry" said Professor Bernard
King, Principle and Vice Chancellor of Abertay. "Our students, trained in the
culture of innovation, enterprise and creativity, that we are pioneering, have
always given a good account of themselves in the competition, but it is pleasing
to see students from an increasing number of other institutions challenging hard
to keep the Abertay teams on their mettle."

New sponsors on board for 2005
include Electronic Arts and Develop – the international trade publication for
creators of interactive entertainment software. With its increasing reputation
for producing some of the most promising talent entering the games sector, the
competition continues to receive invaluable support from, Microsoft, NESTA
(National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), BBC Scotland
Interactive and NCR.

The teams – which will work from
Dundee and have access to the cutting edge facilities at Abertay University –
will be paid on a weekly basis and supported by experienced industry
specialists, who will offer technical, creative and business advice, mentors who
are inaccessible to any student outside the Dare project.

Predicted as having "a major impact
on the global games industry in the near future", by Richard Leinfellner, VP of
Production at Electronic Arts, Dare to be Digital has produced a long line of
graduates who are now working for some of the top names in the Electronic
Entertainment industry, including EA, Lionhead Studios, Visual Sciences and Real
Time Worlds.

The competition takes place from
June 13th to August 19th 2005.