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Dare ProtoPlay 2013 – Scotland’s biggest games festival opens

8 August 2013

The free four-day Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival was opened today (Thursday 8 August) by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs and games industry legend Ian Livingstone.

Fiona Hyslop joined the creator of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and thousands of members of the public to play brand new games created by students on the University of Abertay Dundee’s internationally-renowned Dare to be Digital competition.

Fifteen teams of students from across the world travel to Abertay University each year to build a game in just nine weeks, with three winners then nominated for the exclusive BAFTA Ones to Watch Award for new games talent.

The Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival is free and open to the public from Thursday August 8th to Sunday August 11th in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square.

Dare ProtoPlay 2013 - students and girl gamers

Cabinet Secretary for Culture Fiona Hyslop said:

“Scotland’s computer games industry is undoubtedly one of our global success stories and the Dare ProtoPlay festival never fails to showcase the innovative and cutting-edge skills, talent and infrastructure that Scotland has to offer.

“I am particularly glad to see a focus this year on involving women in game development, and promoting opportunities for them to get involved and become inspired to realise how their creative talent can help diversify and enhance this fast-growing and exciting market.

“Scotland is recognised globally as a creative and innovative nation and I’m delighted to open the Dare ProtoPlay festival which is an excellent platform for young people, game developers – emerging and experienced alike – design experts and gaming enthusiasts to experience the very best of video game production.”  

Ian Livingstone said:

“It’s great to be back in Dundee to open Scotland’s biggest computer games festival, speak to the next generation of entrepreneurs, and to see games created by some of the world’s most talented students in just nine weeks.

“The Dare ProtoPlay festival is a very inspiring event, giving children the opportunity to meet game creators – and to show them that their passion for art, design or maths can be harnessed to move from playing games at home to creating their own games as a fun, rewarding career.”

Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said:

“Games are an incredible artistic and creative medium, and we’re delighted to welcome Fiona Hyslop back to open Scotland’s biggest computer games festival at the very moment Dundee prepares its final bid to be UK City of Culture 2017.

“Scotland truly excels at creating computer games, and this weekend we’re showing families the latest games from up-and-coming companies right beside the brand new games created in our Dare to be Digital competition.”

The Cabinet Secretary also met the V&A’s first ever Game Designer in Residence, Sophia George, a former Dare to be Digital and BAFTA winner, as well as representatives from the National Theatre of Scotland, who created their first game this year with Dundee-based games studio Quartic Llama.

Last year’s festival attracted 10,000 visitors over three days, with a fourth day being added this year due to the high demand.

Running alongside the festival is a conference looking at convergence between games and the arts, film and TV, featuring speakers from organisations including Channel 4, Edinburgh International Film Festival, the V&A and the V&A at Dundee.

Dare ProtoPlay is sponsored by Creative Scotland, Dundee City Council and EventScotland.

For more information, please visit 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.

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


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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