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Dare to be Digital 2015 launches – more open than ever!

9 March 2015

Dare to be Digital logo - web

Dare to be Digital, the world’s leading game design competition for students, is now open for applications with more students than ever eligible to compete for the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award.

The BAFTA Ones to Watch Award is presented at the British Academy Games Awards, which this year takes place on Thursday 12 March.

After working closely with games industry partners, Abertay University has opened the entry criteria far more widely – accepting games that have been developed during university degrees or from game jams, and from teams of up to eight members.

Previously Dare to be Digital teams had just eight weeks to develop a new prototype game from scratch, excluding any student projects or games originally created at an event like the Global Game Jam.

In response to calls from companies and students, the only limit is now that the game must have been in production for less than a year and not have been previously commercially released.

Students keen to take part – and compete for prizes from BAFTA, Channel 4 and others – will this year develop their game at home or their own university, before travelling to Dundee to showcase their game at the UK’s biggest independent game festival, Dare ProtoPlay.

Dare ProtoPlay 2013 - students and girl gamers

Professor Louis Natanson, Head of the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University, said: “Dare to be Digital was set up to give students the best chance of working in the games industry, but since 2000 that industry has changed beyond anyone’s imagination.

“The explosion of mobile gaming and the new freedom to self-publish on app stores has fundamentally changed what students can achieve after graduation, with creating their own business now much more achievable than ever before.

“We want Dare to be Digital to reflect that opportunity and let students build on their university studies and their game jam projects.

“This year’s Dare will be bigger, better and more open than ever – and we hope to see even higher quality games on show at Dare ProtoPlay as teams are given the extra time and flexibility to polish their work for members of the public, games companies and investors to enjoy.”

Dare ProtoPlay launch 2014 - web 2

Applications for Dare to be Digital 2015 involve a two-step process. Teams should register their interest by completing a short form on the Dare to be Digital website by Thursday 2 April. Final applications must be received by Sunday 3 May.

Games industry experts will then pick 15 teams who have the summer to complete their game before travelling to Dundee for Dare ProtoPlay.

Students from all over the world can apply, and need the endorsement of a member of teaching staff from their university.

Free accommodation will be provided in Dundee from Saturday 8 to Tuesday 18 August to allow all the teams to set their games up for Dare ProtoPlay, which runs from Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 August in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square.

Students also have the extra freedom to use their own computers and tablets this year, giving them greater flexibility in terms how they choose to develop their games.

For more information, and to apply, please visit the Dare to be Digital website.


For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Manager) – T: 01382 308522 M: 07837 250284 E:


The key changes for Dare to be Digital 2015 are:

  • Games that started development from September 2014 are eligible
  • Students from universities and colleges and fresh graduates (from 2014) with teams of up to eight members can apply
  • Teams selected for Dare ProtoPlay will have the summer to complete their game, working from their own premises (residential or within their own university)
  • Applications must be endorsed by a member of teaching staff from the team’s host university
  • Teams should register their interest by 2 April
  • Final applications, including a video of early gameplay, must be made by 3 May
  • Free accommodation will be provided from Saturday 8 to Tuesday 18 August in Dundee
  • Teams will supply their own computers, software and mobile or tablet devices for development and for showcasing their game at Dare ProtoPlay
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