Heading up a peculiarly named new campaign called ‘Games Up?’, the industry is calling on the government to help sort out a serious skill shortage in the games development sector. The real problem is that a staggering proportion of gaming degrees are not accredited with the Skillset – the Sector Skills Council for creative media – scheme, which is trying to standardise these courses.
Mind you, their pleas to the government will probably fall on deaf ears. Despite Britain punching far above its weight in terms of the number of the quality of games produced, our leaders have done little but whinge about how unfair other country’s tax incentive for game developers have been, while not providing any real incentive to stay on this inhospitable isle. As a result a lot of our talent has been coaxed abroad already.
Games Up? (I don’t know, 17 maybe?) cites research that graduates from accredited courses are more than three times more likely to get a job in the industry compared to those from non-accredited ones.
The Skillset-accredited courses teach programming, computer science and art, as well as encouraging work placements, team-based projects and internships. Unaccredited ones are probably aimed at half-stoned dossers who just want to somewhere to play Halo for the afternoon. You fools, don’t you know that’s what Psychology is for?
Games Up? (Wassssssssup!) hopes the government will help set up Centres of Excellence, similar to the model of Government support for the London Film School, to improve standards of education, training and qualifications and to promote the importance of industry accreditation for existing games courses.
David Braben, Chairman of Frontier Developments and the man you want to talk to if you want to know where the heck Elite 4 has got to, is fronting the Games Up? (I’d like to ask the audience, please) campaign. “The games development sector is a jewel in the crown of the UK economy made up of a large number of creative and highly-skilled people,” he said.” However, we are facing a serious decline in the quality of graduates looking to enter the industry. “95% of video gaming degrees are simply not fit for purpose.”
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