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V&A Game Designer opens Dare ProtoPlay games festival

7 August 2014

S‌ophia George shows her game, Strawberry Thief 

For full details about the festival, and to book tickets to the evening events, please visit the Dare ProtoPlay website.

The first ever Game Designer in Residence at the V&A museum today (Thursday 7 August) opened Scotland’s biggest video games festival, Dare ProtoPlay.

The event, which is organised by Abertay University, showcases the very best of digital creativity, including the 15 games from the Dare to be Digital student competition and over 30 independent games.

Dare ProtoPlay this year also features the first public preview of Strawberry Thief, the iPad game created by V&A Game Designer Sophia George, as well as a public talk by Richard Lemarchand, Lead Game Designer on the three hit Uncharted games.

Team Straight Ahead from China 

Sophia George said: “My career as a game designer all started with Dare to be Digital three years ago, so I’m delighted to be taking part in the Dare ProtoPlay festival again.

“Strawberry Thief takes the work of William Morris as its inspiration, and players guide a bird around a sketch of his iconic pattern, colouring it in and bringing the image to life.

“Computer games are an unbelievably creative medium, and one that is often overlooked. With this V&A residency I’m hoping that anyone with a love of art, design or music will start to appreciate the beauty and joy digital technology can create.”

Strawberry Thief will be launched in late 2014, with the final game building on the feedback received from the players at Dare ProtoPlay.

The residency is a partnership project between V&A, V&A Dundee and Abertay University, with audio provided by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Professor Louis Natanson, Head of the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University, added: “Dare ProtoPlay is always a very exciting event for the students who’ve worked so hard to create a brand new game for the Dare to be Digital competition, and the thousands of members of the public who get to play these games.

“What is perhaps most important about the festival is it brings together people of all ages to meet both emerging and professional game developers, helping the public to understand how games are made – and to inspire young people to start creating their own games.”

This year the independent companies showing their games will also be competing for a £25,000 innovation prize from Creative Scotland.

Morgan Petrie, Portfolio Manager Technology Digital Media & Market Development at Creative Scotland, said: “We recognise Dare as an important part of the games industry in Scotland, helping in the creation of new companies and new content.

“We’re pleased to help recognise the effort that independent developers make in bringing their work to the indie fest to engage with enthusiasts – and potential developers of the future.”

Dare ProtoPlay is free and open from 10am on Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 August, with the winning games announced at 2pm on Sunday. Last year’s festival attracted 13,000 visitors of all ages across the four days.

For the second year running, the three main awards are sponsored by PlayStation®First, the academic development programme of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE).

Richard Lemarchand will speak about ‘Games and Players: Futures and Predictions’ at 6.15pm on Friday 8 August.

The UK premiere of games documentary ‘Us and the Games Industry’ is at 6.30pm on Saturday 9 August.

The festival closes with the Northern Lights Ceilidh at 8pm on Sunday 10 August, an evening of dance, digital play and traditional music. The ceilidh is part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.

For full details about the festival, and to book tickets to the evening events, please visit the Dare ProtoPlay 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 Abertay University in 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, 7-10 August 2014.

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


Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

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