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Dare to be Digital 2016 launches - a unique, international, residential student game jam!

25 January 2016

Dare to be Digital, the world’s leading game design competition for students, is now open for applications.

Fifteen teams of students will be chosen from the world’s best university games courses to compete to create and develop their games, with guidance and mentorship from experts in the art, science and business of making original, exciting games.

They will be aiming to turn their projects into playable games to be judged by experts and the public at Dare ProtoPlay 2016, the UK’s biggest independent games festival, in August. Dare to be Digital and Dare ProtoPlay are organised and promoted by Abertay University.

Building on the successful redesign of the competition last year, which saw an unprecedented diversity of games targeting a wide range of audiences, the organizers of Dare to be Digital 2016 are encouraging applicants to submit games showcasing originality, craft and ability to connect to audiences.

Competitors will develop their games at home or in their own universities, before travelling to Dundee for two weeks of mentorship immediately before showcasing their games at Dare ProtoPlay.

Teams will also have the option of coming to Dundee sooner to participate in a summer of workshops, guest lectures and other activities while they develop their games at Abertay’s Centre for Excellence in Game Education.

After Dare ProtoPlay, they will be able to meet publishers and investors to learn more about how to bring a finished game to market (and other audiences) and to develop a new studio.

Professor Gregor White, 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, and has evolved constantly since 2000 in response to the major changes that have transformed the industry.

“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. That’s why we are now giving students the opportunity to build on their university studies and their game jam projects.

“This year, in yet a further evolution, Dare will offer each team two weeks of dedicated mentorship from industry experts, 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.”

Applications for Dare to be Digital 2016 involve a two-step process. Teams should register their interest by completing this short form by 13 March.

A panel of experts will then pick 15 teams who will have the first part of the summer to work on their games before travelling to Dundee in July for the residential stage of the competition, followed by Dare ProtoPlay, which runs from Thursday 4 to Sunday 7 August in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square.

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

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


For media enquiries, please contact Kevin Coe (Media and Communications Director)  T: 01382 308452 M: 07850 904110 E:


The key changes for Dare to be Digital 2015 are:

  • Games that started development from June 2015 are eligible.
  • Students from universities and colleges and fresh graduates (from 2015) with teams of up to eight members can apply.
  • Teams selected for Dare ProtoPlay are expected to come to Dundee by July 18 to complete their games. They will have the option (at their own expense, or supported by sponsorship) to participate in Abertay summer game development activities in early July, and to join a multi-day workshop on developing a game design studio after the event.
  • Applications must be endorsed by a member of teaching staff from the team’s host university.
  • Final applications, including a video of early gameplay, must be made by 13 March.
  • Although some development PCs, software and devkits will be supplied by Abertay University, teams will be responsible for arranging the provision of their own computers, software and mobile or tablet devices for development and for showcasing their game at Dare ProtoPlay.
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