Changes in UK games education recommended by Livingstone-Hope report

By Johnny Cullen, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 07:06 GMT

Ahead of its full publication later today, the Livingstone-Hope report has made sweeping recommendation in changing the education curriculum of those looking to enter the UK games dev industry.

The report, authored by Eidos life-president Ian Livingstone, said that a need exists to “transform young people’s passion to play videogames into a desire to make them.”

The paper claimed that £1 billion more sales could be made within the next three years if educators and students are made aware of the potential of games development.

The study added that only 12 percent of 1,585 graduates who studied at 141 special videogame development courses from 2009 were able to get a job within six months of leaving college or university.

It also said that 5 percent of teachers that teach art, ICT, science and maths consider physics as one of the key areas to gain a career out of videogame development, which the report says it’s vital.

“Videogames production plays to the UK’s twin strengths of creativity and high-technology and ticks all the boxes for the digital economy,” said Livingstone.

“But despite young people being passionate about videogames, they are unaware that games such as Grand Theft Auto and SingStar were developed in the UK and unaware of the career opportunities in the UK.”

He continued: “We need to transform young people’s passion to play videogames into a desire to make them, whilst equipping them with the right skills for the industry. In the brave new online world, a second ‘golden age’ for the UK games industry beckons. It’s an opportunity which shouldn’t be missed.”

The three main areas pointed out in the report are as follows:

  • “Computer science must be part of the school national curriculum. The current curriculum includes ICT, but the authors of the report argue that ICT, with its focus on every day applications such as word processing, does not teach the valuable computer programming knowledge that is vital to high-tech industries such as videogames and visual effects.”
  • “Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) should include industry-accredited specialist courses in videogames and visual effects in their list of ‘Strategically Important and Vulnerable’ subjects that merit targeted funding. With such a confusing range of courses and low-level awareness of the skills needed for careers in these industries, the authors argue that even the best courses need some targeted support, as long as it is matched by a commitment from industry, such as in the form of industrial scholarships to the very brightest students on these courses.”
  • “Young people must be given more opportunity to study art and technology together.”

There’s more on the report at

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