Brighton global leader in games industry

Brighton is emerging as a leading city in the video games industry with new companies springing up and the city boasting top expertise in the field.

This week’s Develop:Brighton conference brought together delegates from the European games industry and featured debates, workshops, networking events and an exhibition and provided opportunities to find out more about the impactful research and enterprise of the University community and key collaborators.

The University of Brighton, in partnership with Abertay University, sponsored the academic programme Develop:Research  at the three-day games industry event held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel.

Professor Karen Cham, Academic Lead for the University of Brighton Connected Futures said: “The city of Brighton and the University are now recognised as a hub for the games industry which last year alone generated $135 billion worldwide. The Develop:Brighton conference was an excellent opportunity to showcase industry-facing academic research, identify potential collaborators and to gain insight into the breadth of technical and creative innovation shaping the sector.

“The University of Brighton is under no illusions as to the importance of games research and expertise to industry. With more and more gamified systems, immersive environments and avatars at play, what began very recently as a relatively obscure academic interest will become the most valuable knowledge base for future tech.”

Learning Scientist Benjamin Keep, CEO of Skyrocket Learning who spoke at the event said: “Academic Research can inject creativity into the game space. Not just through fascinating, quirky design pieces, but also by providing a rich knowledge base to work from. The distinction between ‘academic research’ and ‘game development’ can get a little blurry. When we all build on a common body of knowledge it enriches the conversation.”

Dr Jamie Woodcock of Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, said: “The academic track at Develop:Brighton is key as academia can provide a critical space that enables us to consider the implications of games and game making practices. This is especially important in the context of the movement to unionise the games industry.”

Professor Gregor White, Dean of Design and Informatics at Abertay University, said:  “The partnership between Abertay University and University of Brighton to deliver the academic research track at the Develop:Brighton Conference this year has been a huge success. The theme of games for good brought a wide range of interest to the conference where issues such as social histories, health, wellbeing and therapies were presented alongside scientific discovery and virtual reality.  The programme offered a deep insight into the potential for games to contribute to solving significant social challenges as well as continuing to delight and entertain. I can’t wait for next year.”

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