Dundee hosts video games festival

Games festival Dozens of video games will be available to play during the three-day festival

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Scotland's biggest video games festival has opened in Dundee.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the event at Caird Hall, which runs for three days.

The festival - organised by Abertay University - will see the culmination of an international video game design competition.

Three winning teams will be announced on Sunday, who will go on to be nominated for the 2011 Bafta One To Watch award.

All 15 student games in the competition will be on show at the Dare ProtoPlay festival and will be available for the public to play, Abertay University said.

Entries have been received from teams based in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, China, India, Finland and Iceland.

A pro-gaming competition will also be held over the course of the weekend.

Skills 'showcase'

The festival was opened by games developer David Braben, who co-created Elite - the first true 3D game - in 1981.

Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "Scotland is well known as a place of innovation and imagination, with our computer games industry undoubtedly one of our global success stories.

"The spectacular Dare ProtoPlay festival features teams from the UK and abroad, showcasing the skills of some of the world's most talented computer science and arts students."

The games festival has previously been part of the Edinburgh Fringe, but is being held in Dundee for the first time this year.

Dr Louis Natanson, academic director of the computer games courses at Abertay, said the weekend was a boost for the continued growth of the industry in Dundee.

"Abertay University's Dare to be Digital contest has grown and grown, attracting the very best young computer game designers from all over the world to compete for a Bafta that is unique to our competition," he said.

"To have the opportunity to build a game, get advice from world-leading companies and put your game on show to the public at the beginning of your career is a genuinely life-changing opportunity."

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