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2015

Abertay brings 'Games for Good' to Dundee Science Festival

2 November 2015

Dundee Science Festival gets underway this week, with the sheer strength and power of science being brought to life through the theme of superheroes and monsters.

Now in its sixth year, the 16 day celebration promises fun, entertainment, inspiration and curiosity for all the family with over 40 exciting events.

Games for Good is Abertay’s flagship event this year, where visitors to Dundee Science Centre will be able to get hands-on with some of the latest interactive apps being built to promote inclusive design and community-led regeneration.

There will be the chance to play some of the university’s prototype mobile phone apps, see how we can promote game-play and use animation to make experiences more engaging and useful, and also help create new ‘user stories’ from different player perspectives.

Dr Ken Scott-Brown – Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Abertay who specialises in visual perception – explains a little more about the event:

“Games are no longer solely used for entertainment purposes – they can be powerful tools to deliver important messages and solve complex problems.

“Here at Abertay we work across multiple different disciplines to create interactive solutions for all sorts of things – I work closely with the university’s computer scientists and game developers on an app for people with sight loss, for example – but every person can offer a perspective on inclusive design, which is why we hold drop-in events like this where people can share their ideas with us.

“We’ll have a few talks at this event, plus the chance to experiment with our instant-ageing lab where people will be able to get their creative hats, scarves, gloves and goggles on and get a real feel for inclusive app design.

“Donning these accessories isn’t just for fun: they make it possible for people to feel how apps appear to users with different visual and sensory perspectives – such as cataracts and arthritis – and then give us feedback on how they think we can make the apps better using the best technology.

“There will also be the chance for visitors to find out about a game called Project Sanitarium that our students have developed with world renowned experts on tuberculosis at the University of St Andrews, and one called Loch Ness Warrior, which was a third year team project game created in collaboration with Perth Council. We’re hoping there will also be a game about the impact of the Great War on Dundee, so there will be lots to learn about and lots to do!”

Games for Good will take place on Tuesday 3 November from 4-8pm in Dundee Science Centre.

Further events at the festival include an outdoor ‘Big Bang’ event celebrating the history of fireworks, and a ‘Curious Creatures’ event with a collection of animal guests lined up, from cuddly guide dog puppies to scaly lizards.

To ensure that no-one misses out, a number of events will be held in community venues and shopping centres, where visitors can try their hand at everything from jewellery-making and forensics to exploring the night skies and making brush robots.

A programme of free, evening lectures will also be held at Dundee Science Centre during the festival, with topics as diverse as human performance doping and fracking.

Dundee Science Centre, along with Abertay, will be coordinating the schools programme, which will see a number of events for primary and secondary schools in Dundee.

For more information about the festival, and to view the programme in full, please visit Dundee Science Festival's website.

ENDS

For media enquiries about Dundee Science Festival please contact Claire Grainger from Grainger PR M: 07912 324 264 E: claire@graingerpr.co.uk

For media enquiries about Games for Good please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07972172158 E: k.cameron@abertay.ac.uk

Notes to Editor:

Dundee Science Festival is brought to you by Dundee Science Centre, along with key partners Dundee City Council and Scottish Government with additional support, as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015, from VisitScotland.

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