Anglia Ruskin student is games master supreme

Published: 19 April 2007 at 15:53

Cambridge student maps out games of the future.

In the first competition of its kind FDMX (the Film and Digital Media Exchange) teamed up with Enter, Cambridge’s international festival for new technology art to ask young people in the East of England to describe what they thought the computer games of the future would look like. The resulting games ideas ranged horrible to wonderful while others where just plain barmy.

A jury consisting of James Shepherd, Development Director at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Martina Porter Project Manager of FDMX, Annette Wolfsberger Enter_Festival Director, (partners in the NEXT next-gen competition) and Darrenlloyd Gent Web Development Executive from the University of Hertfordshire judged 25 finalists’ drawings and ideas.

They chose 3 winners: in first place was Muhammad Z Enayet (18), a student on the BA (Hons) Games and Visual Effects course at the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences (ALSS) at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, followed by “Dreamer” a project from the Chronic Chaos team at South East Essex College, and Cambridge based Hong Miao Shi, with “Phantos”.

The prize for coming up with the themes and action plots was a next generation console from the choice of an Xbox 360, a Nintendo Wii, or a brand new Playstation 3.

The pioneering work submitted for the competition by the fledgling visionaries will be available to see at the Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University starting with a private view on 5pm Wednesday 25th April, and open until May 9th.  As part of the exhibition, those who come along are invited to test out the new Sony PS3, and see work by local games companies Shortfuze and Introversion.

The main next-generation console prizes were donated by Sony’s Cambridge studio, FDMX and local games developers Short fuze. Another local company Introversion, also donated copies of their award winning Darwinia and DEFCON games.

“The exhibition will be an interesting barometer of how young people are thinking creatively about the kind of games they want to play”

Said organiser Saint John Walker, FDMX Co-ordinator for Anglia Ruskin University .

 "We hope to make this an annual event in the East of England’s creative media calendar.”

Chris Joyce, Senior Lecturer in Games and Visual Effects at  Anglia Ruskin University added:

“This sort of competition brings out the creative best in our students. Zed’s mix of ideas and drawing skills seems to have captured the imagination of the jury. Traditional creative skills are very much in demand in this hi-tech industry.”

At a time when Alan Johnson, the education secretary, has said the UK’s higher education sector needs to deliver ‘the skills that the labour market needs and that students want’, Anglia Ruskin University has, not only, welcomed his words (from a report by Universities UK) but confirmed that it is committed to providing a wide range of degree course to help encourage diversity and economic success in the East of England.

Chris continues:

“Gaming as an industry is fast overtaking film and TV in terms of revenues. The focus of our course is very much about melding art skills with technical skills, which is what industry demands.”

“Both the Department of Computing, within the University’s Faculty of Science and Technology, and the School of Art within the Faculty of ALSS, have launched Games degree courses in the last year, with the accent on different aspects of this dynamic industry”.

The Universities UK report backs this confidence predicting that graduate-level jobs in the computer industry, already worth £65.5bn a year to the economy, are expected to jump 20% to 530,000 by 2014.