Dare Schools Team Challenge

Dundee secondary pupils have been taking on a digital challenge for the future of computer games.

The Dare Schools Team Challenge is an opportunity for young people to get an insight into the skills that are involved in making interactive entertainment.

Now in its eighth year, the initiative is aimed at S5 pupils who are studying subjects like art & design, music and computing.

Based at computer labs within the University of Abertay Dundee for the week-long challenge, the 26 pupils have been working in teams to devise the best web-based 2D single player game using Adobe Flash programming.

They have attended learning sessions with academics and also enjoyed a masterclass workshop with Frank Arnot of 4J Studios.

An awards ceremony will take place at the Hannah Maclure Centre on Friday to reward the winning team and all the participants.

The Dare School Team Challenge was devised jointly by Abertay University and Dundee City Council's city development department and educational development service. The contest was inspired by the success of Abertay's world-famous Dare to be Digital competition for university students.

Each participant will receive a completion certificate and goodie bag, containing DCA Cinema tickets, Food vouchers, 2GB Memory stick (kindly sponsored by Disk Depot, Dundee).

Interactive Tayside and EA Electronic Arts have kindly sponsored the top prizes this year - the winning team will each receive £50 worth of games vouchers and the runners-up with each receive £25 worth of games vouchers.

Dundee City Council depute city development convener Cllr Dave Bowes said: "The local computer games industry has shown it can bounce back of late with some really positive news.

"I am really inspired to see the enthusiasm of these young people and they will have had a unique experience this week to see the skill and effort that goes into making a game.

"The challenge has given them a chance to speak to academics and top industry professionals and will help them to focus on their future career choices."

John Shearer, Dare Schools organiser and computing lecturer at Abertay University, said: "The Dare Schools Challenge is always a fantastic event and it's great to see the huge enthusiasm which the school pupils bring to the challenge.

"This year has been no exception, with some very talented young people from Dundee applying their art, computing and music skills to building an internet game.

"Dundee has a thriving local computer games industry, with Abertay University at its centre. We hope to see some of these school pupils moving on to degrees and jobs in the industry in the years to come!"