Livingstone eyes game academia â??transformationâ??

Livingstone eyes game academia â??transformationâ??

By Rob Crossley

September 8th 2010 at 2:38PM

Skills Council chair says incoming report will be substantial; calls for dev participation

The coalition Government’s Skills Review will draw a “blueprint to transform the UK into the best source of talent for videogames production”, says Eidos life president Ian Livingstone.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Livingstone expected the Skills Review to be published early 2011.

He, the chair of the Computer Games Skills Council, echoed calls for a rethink in UK game development academia.

"Clearly the videogames industry needs graduates to come out of universities and colleges with the hard skills necessary to make games rather than just the philosophical knowledge about them," he said.

Livingstone has been collaborating with Revolution Software’s Charles Cecil, Double Negative’s Alex Hope, Skillset and NESTA for the review.

He said the report would be “substantial”, with recommendations of each aspect of the talent pipeline; “from junior school all the way though to higher and further education”.

As part of the review, two employer surveys are making the rounds across the industry, and Livingstone urges British devs to get involved.

“The Review is a one-off chance to actually effect some real change that will benefit the industry.”

The oft-cited ‘crisis’ of UK game academia is cited by many as an issue of urgency.

Recent research performed by open learning provider Train2Game highlighted a lack of relevant skills among recruits to the game development industry.

Meanwhile, Hollie Heraghty of Aardvark Swift sparked a vehement debate on Develop Online by saying that graduates are rarely given appropriate skills after graduating.

Frontier’s David Braben went a step further, recently saying that “since 2001 we have seen educational standards decline”.

Meanwhile, Northwest Vision and Media’s Enda Carey hit a nerve late last year in saying that the games industry needs to help education rather than “sit around bitching about them”.

The GamesIndustry.biz report features further information from Livingstone, along with reaction from UKIE director Michael Rawlinson.