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Dare ProtoPlay conference line-up unveiled

5 July 2013

The UK’s biggest indie games festival will feature speakers from Channel 4, National Theatre of Scotland and the V&A, the University of Abertay Dundee announced today (Friday 5th July).

The industry conference is being run in association with BAFTA on the theme of convergence, looking at where the games industry meets art, film and television.

Projects being discussed include two major gaming firsts – the first game from the National Theatre of Scotland, developed to support the recent Let the Right One In production, and the V&A’s first Game Design Residency.

ProtoPlay marks the end of Dare to be Digital, the international game design contest for students run in Dundee each summer by Abertay University.

Speakers for the conference include:

- Imre Jele, Creator-In-Chief, Bossa Studios
- Colin Macdonald, Games Commissioning Editor, Channel 4
- Jody Smith, Multiplatform Commissioning Editor, Channel 4
- Gina Fegan, founder of the D-Media Network
- Philippa Tomlin, Creative Director of Other, National Theatre of Scotland
- Tom deMajo from Other’s game developer, Quartic Llama
- Sophia George, the V&A’s first Game Designer in Residence
- Kirk Ewing, cross-media entrepreneur and founder of VEEMEE and Zappar

Elaine Russell, Dare to be Digital Project Manager, said: “Dare ProtoPlay is an incredible event, and this year we’re adding an extra day because of the huge demand from thousands of members of the public to see the amazing games being created in the UK.

“We’re delighted to welcome such prestigious cultural organisations as BAFTA, Channel 4, the National Theatre of Scotland and the V&A to talk about how games are converging with every area of art and culture – and offer such great potential to create completely new experiences for audiences.”

Last year saw 10,000 visitors enjoy the 15 student Dare to be Digital games, plus work from new and established independent studios in the Dare Indie Fest showcase.

Game development studios are invited to show their latest titles for free to thousands of members of the annual game festival.

Details on booking conference tickets and registering for the games showcase are available at the Dare to be Digital website.

Elaine Russell added: “Having the opportunity to meet your audience and get their immediate feedback is a really important part of the development process, for new and established companies.

“We look forward to receiving lots of varied, exciting entries for this year’s Dare Indie Fest games showcase.”

Any game can be submitted for the showcase, but priority will be given to new and unreleased games – giving the thousands of visitors the first chance to see exciting new games, at various stages of development.

Hosted and run by the University of Abertay Dundee, Dare to be Digital gives exceptionally talented students a life-changing opportunity to be mentored by games industry experts – and to take the stage at the BAFTA Video Games Awards as winners.

The Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival is open to the public from Thursday August 8 to Sunday August 11 in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square. The event is sponsored by Creative Scotland, Dundee City Council and EventScotland.

Last year saw over 10,000 people of all ages – from toddlers to grandparents – enjoying the fun-packed weekend.

Details on booking conference tickets and registering for the games showcase are available at the Dare to be Digital website.


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


Dare to be Digital is a video game development competition for undergraduates at universities and colleges of art, hosted and run by the University of Abertay Dundee.

Teams of student programmers and artists compete in an intensive 'hot-house' development environment over the summer vacation, building fully-functioning prototypes for assessment by industry judges and a public vote at Dare ProtoPlay in Dundee, 8-11 August 2013.

The three winning teams from Dare to be Digital each year become the sole nominees for the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award.


Abertay University launched the world’s first computer games technology degree in 1997, and runs both the UK Centre of Excellence for Computer Games Education and the international game design contest Dare to be Digital. Our unique partnership with BAFTA makes Dare the exclusive pathway to the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, a major recognition of up-and-coming games talent.

Through the Abertay University Prototype Fund start-up and small developers across the UK have access to funding to create new prototypes and attract additional investment, another practical way Abertay supports the growth of a sustainable, successful games industry.

Abertay has the highest number of Skillset accreditations for computer games courses as well as holding full Skillset Media Academy status, recognition of the important industry skills that are developed on our courses.

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