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Next Level - The Future of Games



Saturday 25th November 5pm
‘Next Level – a conversation on the future of games'

Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee

5pm - Drinks reception with games themed live band
          (kindly sponsored by Henderson Loggie) 
           Henderson Loggie

6pm - Panel event: ‘Next Level - a conversation on the future of games’
Kenny McAlpine Hosted by Kenny McAlpine, Abertay Lecturer and Musician

Dr Kenny McAlpine is Academic Curriculum Manager for Abertay’s School of Design and Informatics. A ‘musical mathematician,’ he manages the delivery of a range of sound and music content on a number of degree programmes. Kenny’s main subject specialisms are in sound production and music performance, although he has developed content around mathematics, coding theory and data encryption and pedagogy, with a particular focus on enactive learning and music education. He has established several international programmes, including collaborations with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Dortmund; the Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble, and DePaul University, Chicago. Earlier this year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

The Panel 

Dave Jones  Dave Jones, Abertay Honorary Graduate.

Dave Jones is a games programmer and entrepreneur best known for creating Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto. He also created the Crackdown franchise for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, and the multiplayer online game APB: All Points Bulletin. In his early career, Dave founded DMA Design, winning European Game of the Year twice with Lemmings. He has been a regular keynote speaker at games event including for the World Cyber Games and the Develop Conference. As a young developer in 1988, he created his first title Menace which sold 15,000 copies – famously earning him enough to buy a Vauxhall Astra. Dave, who studied at Abertay, is an honorary visiting professor at the University and now operates Reagent Games in Dundee.

Jo Twist  Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO, UKIE

Dr Jo Twist OBE is CEO of Ukie, the trade body for UK games and interactive entertainment. Previously, Jo was Channel 4 Education Commissioning Editor where she commissioned Digital Emmy-winning Battlefront II, free to play browser and iOS games and social media projects. Jo was Multiplatform Commissioner for BBC Entertainment & Switch, BBC Three Multiplatform Channel Editor, and technology reporter for BBC News.  She is Deputy Chair of the British Screen Advisory Council, London Tech Ambassador, BAFTA Games Committee member, and sits on a number of boards and advisory groups. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to the creative industries and won the MCV 30 Women in Games award for Outstanding Contribution. 

Lynn Parker  Lynn Parker, Abertay Lecturer

Lynn Parker teaches animation and interactive art to undergraduate students on the BA (hons) Computer Arts Programme at Abertay University. She is a lecturer and a practicing artist, who produces interactive experiences and performances in the form of ‘play interventions’ that aim to bring people together through interactivity, social experiences and playful spaces.  Parker likes to make strange things that are social and playful, whether they be games, events or objects and this is the focus of her PhD which she is undertaking as part of Abertay Game Lab. Most recently she has collaborated on projects including a three-player social play game (Ola de la Vida) where players don a poncho and hold hands to play a digital game with their bodies.

Jude Ower  Jude Ower MBE, CEO of Playmob and Abertay Graduate

Jude Ower MBE is the founder and CEO of Playmob - the world's first platform profitably connecting game mechanics to social good. In 2015, Ower was Voted One to Watch at the Talent Unleashed Awards judged by Sir Richard Branson and leaders in tech. She was listed in the top 100 women in Tech in Europe, included in the Growing Business 'Young Gun' 2012 list, and shortlisted on Red's Hot Women Awards 2012. Playmob has scooped multiple awards including winner of Best Start Up 2012 at Launch Conference; BBAA Social Investment of the Year 2013; and Digital Leader SME 2014. Owner is a BAFTA games judge, member of Ukie and regular speaker at a range of games and tech events.

Will Freeman  Will Freeman, Games Journalist

Will Freeman is a freelance video game journalist and author. He has written about games, their design, culture, industry and technology for over a decade, contributing to national newspapers, the specialist and consumer press, and trade publications, from The Guardian and Edge to Kotaku and Develop. While Will has written about every aspect of the gaming medium throughout that time, he has often specialised in writing for a game industry audience, covering creative practice, technology, development trends and the business and ecosystem of game development. He also serves as a game script editor, speaker, event curator, critic, awards judge, researcher and mentor in the games sector, and brings a lifelong passion for the form and its potential to his writing.

20 years of Games Finale event announced


Top names from the UK games industry will chart the future of the sector in a select discussion panel marking the finale to Abertay University’s 20 Years of Games celebrations.

An array of industry professionals will come to Dundee for the Saturday November 25 event, including Grand Theft Auto creator Dave Jones, Dr Jo Twist OBE of industry body UKIE, Jude Ower MBE of Playmob, games journalist Will Freeman and Abertay computer arts lecturer Lynn Parker.

It is 20 years since Abertay became first university in the world to offer degrees in computer games and the finale event, 'Next Level - A Conversation on the Future of Games,' marks the culmination of a packed year-long programme.

Around 300 people are expected to attend Abertay’s main lecture theatre for the free evening, with a drinks reception sponsored by Dundee-based business and financial services firm Henderson Loggie.

Audience members will have the opportunity to put questions to the panel in a lively and entertaining format and the night will be streamed live on the Abertay University Facebook page.

A special 20 Years of Games VIP dinner for invited guests will follow the panel, followed by a DJ set running until midnight.

Professor Gregor White, Head of School of Arts, Media and Computer Games, at Abertay, said: “It is fantastic to have so many great speakers lined-up for the panel and I’m sure there will be plenty of interesting discussion and debate to be had.

“The selection of events marking 20 Years of Games has been excellent and there is no more fitting way to draw the year to a close than hearing from some of the University’s finest graduates and friends.”

Abertay is the top European university for undergraduate computer games courses and in the world top ten for postgraduate courses, according to the prestigious Princeton Review.