The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is calling for entries for the 2017 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition, in association with Nominet Trust, which aims to inspire the UK’s game designers and game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and make their own game. Entries are now open at http://ygd.bafta.org/ and will close on Wednesday 3 May.
The winners will be named at a special awards ceremony in July at BAFTA’s headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London, attended by stars of the games industry. The successful entrants will receive further development for their winning game, mentoring by games professionals, visits to games studios, and a host of other prizes.
The BAFTA YGD competition is part of a year-round programme of activity that gives young people and educators unique insights into the games industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games. The games sector makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to the UK. In 2016 UK consumers spent £2.96bn on boxed, downloaded and mobile games, which generated 2.6 times more revenue than music sales, and 1.3 times more than video sales (Entertainment Retailers Association 2017).
The competition, which attracted over 1,000 entries in 2016 alone, has been designed so that young people can enter in their own time, as part of a lesson in school, within a coding club, or as an additional homework challenge set by their teacher. To support teachers and code club leaders, BAFTA has created a range of free online teaching resources, which link the BAFTA YGD competition to the national curriculum, and can be downloaded for free (http://ygd.bafta.org/resources). BAFTA is also hosting teacher workshops and game design opportunities around the UK. For further details, and to hear insights and advice from BAFTA members, award winners and nominees, visit http://ygd.bafta.org/.
Now in its seventh year, the main YGD competition is aimed at 10-18 year-olds, divided into age-specific sub-groups. Entrants can be individuals or a team of up to three people, who can choose to enter two creative categories: The YGD Game Concept Award, for those creating a concept for a new game; and the YGD Game Making Award, for those making a game using freely available software. Dan Pearce, a YGD winner in 2010, was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2013, and his game Castles in the Sky earned him a BAFTA nomination for Debut Game in 2014. This month, the winners of BAFTA YGD 2016 visited Dundee to view builds of their games developed by students at Abertay University.
For a third year, two awards will recognise contributions by adults: The YGD Mentor Award, nominated by the public, is for an inspirational individual involved in the education of young game designers; and the YGD Hero Award, for support for young games designers by an industry professional or development team, chosen by BAFTA’s Games and Learning & New Talent Committees. Ray Chambers, Head of Computing at Brooke Weston Academy, won the YGD Mentor Award in 2015 and has since gone on to win the UK National Teaching Award, and is currently a finalist for the Global Teacher Prize.
Nominet Trust – the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder – is headline partner of the initiative, working with BAFTA to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Criterion, Jagex, King, Oracle Academy, SEGA, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Unity and WB Games.
Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and New Talent at BAFTA, said:
“The BAFTA YGD competition is a great way for young people to explore their creativity and the craft of game design. Not only are students given the opportunity to design their own game, but to receive direct feedback from industry professionals and are able to see their idea be made into a reality. Each year, our finalists demonstrate just how much young talent is out there which makes us feel very optimistic about the future of the games industry, and we can’t wait to see this year’s entries.”
Chris Ashworth, Programme Director at Nominet Trust, said:
“The Young Game Designers competition provides an exciting opportunity for young people from across the UK to develop and enhance their creative digital skills through making and designing games. For a third consecutive year, Nominet Trust is proud to support the programme in engaging under-represented groups to pursue careers in game design – encouraging more entries from girls to help close the industry’s gender gap, and inspiring young people from all backgrounds to develop their digital skills. We’re looking forward to seeing the imagination and creativity in this year’s entries.”
For the Terms & Conditions, and to enter the BAFTA YGD competition, go to http://ygd.bafta.org/