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Game for children in care wins Serious Play Award

8 September 2014

Care Inspectorate game - web 1

A computer game to help children in care understand their rights has received international acclaim from the International Serious Play Awards.

Far From Home is an online 3D adventure game made for the Care Inspectorate, Scotland's care watchdog. The game explores themes of trust, consequence and unfamiliarity in an action-packed and strange alien world.

Students from Abertay University developed the game with the help of young people with experience of being in care from Who Cares? Scotland and the Aberlour Childcare Trust.

Far From Home received a bronze award in the Games for Good category and was on display in Los Angeles at the Serious Play Conference earlier this summer.

Care Inspectorate game - web 2

Professor Louis Natanson, Head of the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University, said: “The students and young people who jointly designed and created Far From Home should be incredibly proud of this international achievement.

“Computer games can easily be overlooked as just a popular form of entertainment, but what this project shows is how interactive design can deal with incredibly complex emotional issues in a very thoughtful and sensitive way.

“Games can allow people to uncover a whole world of different experiences, either as art, entertainment or to help them understand challenges and problems in their own lives.”

Care Inspectorate game - web 3

Paul Edie, Chair of the Care Inspectorate, said: "This is great news and many congratulations need to go to all the young people who helped make the game a success.

"It raises really important issues for young people in care about knowing their rights, exploring trust and making good choices.

"Children in care include some very vulnerable young people and it is everyone's job to protect them from harm and prepare them to move out of care as they grow older.

"Our Meet Sid website provides key information for young people in care, with this game and videos where young people in care describe their own experiences in their own way.

"I am very pleased that the Care Inspectorate and Abertay University worked so closely together on this fantastic project and am delighted it is recognised in this way."

The game’s production was led by Dr Iain Donald at Abertay University, who coordinates the third year professional practice assignments for students in the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games.

In these projects teams of students from multiple courses – covering art, audio, design and programming – respond to an external client’s creative brief.

For more information about the project, and to play the game, please visit the Meet Sid website.

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