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UK game-development degrees not up to snuff, claims industry

Position: videogame designer. Required: the right skills for the job

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The UK videogames industry is suffering because UK university courses aren’t equipping students with the right skills needed for the job, a gaming industry campaign group has warned. But it’s also partly the Wii’s fault, apparently.

A campaign group called Games Up? – which is backed by several UK gaming firms - claims that only four of the UK’s 81 videogames degree courses are actually accredited by the Skillset, the government monitoring body responsible for ensuring that students have the core skills required by the industry, such as programming and computer science.

The group want centres of excellence for videogame design created, in an effort to help improve standards of education, training and qualifications. If action's not taken, then leading game firms could continue to desert the UK’s talent pool in search of more talented games designers from abroad - as Games Up? already claims they are doing.

David Braben, a spokesman for Games Up?, told The Guardian that the games development sector is “facing a serious decline in the quality of graduates”, which is compounded by the problem that “95 per cent of video gaming degrees are simply not fit for purpose”.

However, the body’s also stated that the Wii has made videogames more popular than ever, leading to the desire for more videogames outstripping the rate at which they can be produced.

For example, Games Up? said that the Wii has expanded the traditional child and teenager demographic for videogames out to gamers aged into their 60s. But we guess they could still like a late-night Grand Theft Auto IV session as much as the next person.

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