Bafta hails young computer game designers
Young game designers have been recognised for their dazzling innovation at a glittering awards ceremony held by Bafta, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Four budding game creators between the ages of 11 and 17 received Bafta young game designers (YGD) awards for their computer skills and will now have their work developed by professionals in the gaming industry.
A school teacher who helped inspire youngsters to get involved in game design was also recognised at the awards ceremony at Bafta's headquarters in central London.
In the game concept category, for a written idea for a new game, Camylle Tuliao, 14, from Basildon in Essex, won the 10-14 age category for her game Dreams, which was described by the judges as "an evocative concept that intertwined unique themes to create a psychological thriller".
Jack Reynolds, 15, from Highgate in London, won the 15-18 age category with his game Ouroboros, which was "cleverly designed to consistently reinforce its central theme", and had "simple yet addictive game-play".
The game making prizes - awarded for a game made using computer software - went to 11-year-old Louis Jackson, from Hove in East Sussex, in the 10-14 age group for his game Block.
Louis's game was applauded for being "a refreshingly original and surprisingly high quality concept; not only for this age category but for any up-and-coming game developer".
Jack Mills, 17, from Liverpool, picked up the prize in the 15-18 category for his game Utopia Of Rhythm, which the judges said "meets the standards of professional prototypes". They added: "A wide variety of mechanics and puzzles were rolled out with a well-balanced difficulty curve of the levels."
As well as having their work developed, the four young designers will also enjoy tours at Shepperton Studios, copies of every game released this year by Warner Bros and the opportunity to pitch their game to Sony.
Ray Chambers, the head of IT at Uppingham Community College in Rutland, East Midlands, was awarded the inaugural YGD mentor award in recognition of his efforts in encouraging young people to get into game design.
Recognising his efforts the Bafta judging panel said: "We were incredibly impressed and heartened by the enthusiasm and innovation demonstrated by all of the nominees.
"Amongst them Ray Chambers stood out for the way he'd used social media to take his teaching outside the classroom and his commitment to engaging a diverse range of young people in the magic of game design."
Minecraft, the popular block-building construction game, also received the YGD Hero award after being chosen by the Bafta committee for its support for young games designers.
In a message of support to the young finalists the Duke of Cambridge, who is president of Bafta, said: " I encourage you - our stars of tomorrow - to keep exploring your creativity and see where it takes you.
"A successful career in one of the fastest growing and most creative industries in this country is very much a possibility, regardless of your background or your gender. Judging by the potential you have already shown, your future, and the future of British games, is very bright indeed."
Harvey Elliott, chairman of the Bafta games committee, said: "The Bafta YGD awards ceremony has shown once again the depth of amazing talent available to the games industry.
"The young people involved in all 40 shortlisted games, as well as today's very worthy winners, deserve this recognition of their work and potential.
"We are especially grateful to all the educators who have supported the initiative, including YGD mentor award winner Ray Chambers who, like Bafta, helps to inspire young people towards a career in the games industry."
The Bafta YGD competition is part a year-round programme which gives young people and educators insights into the games industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games.