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Thursday, May 09, 2019

Abertay Digital Graduate Show to explore new horizons...

A project mapping how artificial intelligence will transform the human race, a historically-accurate virtual reality Viking hall, and work exploring how videogames characters can be used to connect with gender identity, will be showcased at this year’s Abertay Digital Graduate Show.

The unique show at Abertay Student Centre in Dundee, which opens today (Friday May 10) and runs until Tuesday May 14, is expected to draw thousands of visitors over the five-day experience.

Celebrating the achievements of final year students from Abertay University's internationally-acclaimed School of Design and Informatics, the event features everything from video games and virtual reality experiences, through to animation, 3D modelling, character and concept design, coding, augmented reality and illustration.

Among the exhibitors will be Game Design and Production student Emelie Edholm from Sweden, who is chair of Abertay Game Development Society and last year led Team Thunderlime to victory in the Dare Academy game design competition final at EGX Festival in Birmingham.

She said: “I came to Abertay four years ago as I mature student, and I’m leaving as a Business Developer at Pocket Sized Hands in Dundee. The staff at Abertay have been great and the course has been life-changing.

“I’m going to be showcasing custom-built controllers at the Abertay Digital Graduate Show including one that uses your sense of smell. I wanted to highlight that there’s more to custom-building than just good fun - it can improve accessibility and open up gaming to people who have additional needs. It’s more important than I think a lot of people realise.”

This year’s Abertay Digital Graduate Show is part of a Dundee-wide Summer of Games featuring public, industry and academic events all over Dundee, including activities surrounding the V&A Dundee exhibition Video games: Design/Play/Disrupt and the UK Games Fund Awards.

The showcase comes as Abertay celebrates 25 years of University status this year, and a fifth consecutive year of being ranked number one in Europe for video games education.

Other show highlights will include a narrative-driven game exploring a First World War trench system featuring authentic memoirs from the Battle of Loos, an app tool that measures high intensity boxing training, a project that turns a Playstation controller into musical synthesizer, and a six-player combat driving game called Tread.

Show curator Clare Brennan, a Visual Arts lecturer at Abertay, said the wide breadth of projects would cater for visitors of all ages and interests.

She added: “There’s a huge appetite for all things games in Dundee this year and I’m delighted our students have had such great success – both in terms of the quality of their work and the diverse range of topics they are using games to explore.

“Abertay is an international leader in video games teaching and research and the work included in the show is very often right on the cutting edge of new innovation and design, giving our audiences unique insights into design processes.”

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