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V&A museum joins Abertay for computer game venture

The V&A is a resource rich in British art and design. Picture: PA

The V&A is a resource rich in British art and design. Picture: PA

  • by FRANK URQUHART
 

A BUDDING computer games designer is to be given access to the treasures at one of the world’s greatest museums to help develop a potential digital hit, in a joint initiative between the institution and a Scottish university.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London and Dundee’s Abertay University have launched a search for a digital game designer to take part in a six-month residency at the museum in London, followed by a period at Abertay developing games based on the museum’s vast collection.

The winning candidate chosen to take up the “unique” residency will be expected to design a game suitable for families, inspired by the artefacts in the V&A’s British Galleries which house one of the world’s most important collections of British art and design.

And, if a commercially viable game emerges during the residency, the designer will have to offer the V&A and its partners first option to take it to the games market.

The project will involve the chosen candidate spending six months at the V&A, between October this year and March 2014, followed by a games production period at Abertay, the university which launched the world’s first computer games technology degree in 1997 and is now one of the partners in the ambitious plans to built a new outpost of the V&A on the banks of the Tay in Dundee.

Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “The V&A’s first ever games design residency is an incredibly exciting opportunity for designers in the early or middle stages of their career.

“We’re delighted to see the world’s greatest museum of art and design and the V&A at Dundee both embrace the enormous creativity and cultural importance of computer games.”

The games designer will be based at the V&A in London and will receive a bursary of £8,400, plus a proportionate amount for the production period in
Dundee.

Ruth Lloyd, the V&A’s residency co-ordinator, said: “Games design is a growing industry in the UK and Britain is now one of the leaders in the world in this field. It is a highly-skilled form of design that requires both creative and scientific skills.

“The V&A’s first games design residency is an exciting opportunity for the museum to recognise and support this form of design and will offer a games designer access to specialist expertise as well as use of the V&A’s extraordinary collections as creative inspiration to produce new work.”

The residency has been organised in collaboration with the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, the games industry body.

 

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