Meet the computer games designers of the future

Sunderland Software City Chief Executive Officer David Dunn chatting with three Washington School pupils at the centre for the BAFTA event, left to right; Jess Thompson, Shirleyann Keenan and Gabrielle Boak.
Sunderland Software City Chief Executive Officer David Dunn chatting with three Washington School pupils at the centre for the BAFTA event, left to right; Jess Thompson, Shirleyann Keenan and Gabrielle Boak.
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ASPIRING games designers were among the first people to be welcomed into Sunderland’s Software City.

Pupils from five North East schools got a sneaky peek at an event run by Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and the £10million software centre.

The 75 students – including pupils from Wearside’s Castle View Academy, Red House Academy, Oxclose Community School and Washington School – took part in a games design workshop and careers event.

Young people aged 14 to 17 had the chance to chat to industry insiders, including North East firms Eutechnyx and Ubisoft Reflections, which make the Driver and Just Dance games.

Organised as part of 
the Bafta’s Young Game Designers competition, which aims to inspire the designers and game-makers of the future, it gave youngsters the chance to design and create their own video game and develop it with industry professionals.

Software City chief executive David Dunn said: “The purpose of the day was to get kids interested in the world of gaming and software.

“It is the first event in the new building and we wanted more kids to understand the career opportunities available in the software industry.

“Industry professionals have come in to teach them about game design.

“We are trying to get them to come back later this year. They seem incredibly pleased with the building.”

Software City is expected to open later in the autumn but it has not been confirmed which firms are moving in to its three storeys of offices.

Twitter: @janethejourno