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Friday, May 05, 2017

Biggest ever five-day feast of digital art, computer games and cybersecurity innovation at Abertay University


A virtual reality game combating PTSD by a student affected by the disorder, and a poignant game from a graduate who recreated a digital version of her late grandmother’s house are among more than 150 projects on display at the Dundee event.


This year marks two decades since Abertay University became first in the world to offer computer games degrees and a special Game Changers exhibition and Games PechaKucha have been organised to coincide with ADGS, as part of the 20 Years of Games celebrations.


Other student projects on view until Tuesday May 9 include a computer programme that aims to enhance communication from space balloons, swamp monster concept art and a game already picked up by Xbox and Playstation that shuns violence in favour of relaxation.

Eilidh MacLeod, who devised the game Recover while tackling her own PTSD, will present her showpiece from inside the sanctuary of a ‘pillow fort’ – reflecting the theme of her work.

Members of the public can crawl into the fort, put on a VR headset and be transported into a calm and relaxing world.

She said: "Games were always a huge coping mechanism for me growing up.

“PTSD is a condition that has personally impacted my life, so mental health and improving mental wellbeing through creative practice has always been a huge passion of mine and often the drive behind the majority of my projects.

“Recover aims to harness the skills and coping mechanisms taught in clinical therapies given to those suffering from PTSD, and create a safe game environment where they can be practiced and encouraged.

“My project investigated the benefits from both immersive game design practices and developing a self-help compatible mobile application.

“Recover only scraped the surface of what could be done in this area of study and I am excited to continue to develop and explore it further."

The art director of games giant Ubisoft, Liam Wong, has travelled from Montreal to be part of ADGS and will join a host of other high-profile graduates.

ADGS is free and opens to the public at 6pm today.

A range of free fun-packed family activities including comic workshops, 3D paper world design and Minecraft programming sessions will run tomorrow and Sunday and can be booked in advance.

A 20 Years of Games PechaKucha evening will be staged in Abertay’s main lecture theatre tomorrow and the Game Changers exhibition, featuring a selection of influential graduates, will run for several weeks.

For more information and the full programme visit www.abertay.ac.uk/graduateshow.

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