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The Brains behind the gaming of Eden

Computer games festivals dont get more exciting than Brains Eden, at ARU July 13 to 16
Computer games festivals dont get more exciting than Brains Eden, at ARU July 13 to 16

The international gaming festival celebrates its tenth anniversary this month

Alex Mayer MEP with Jeremy Cooke of Games Eden
Alex Mayer MEP with Jeremy Cooke of Games Eden

Brains Eden is an internationally renowned student games festival which takes place from July 13 to July 16.

The event, which is supported by the Cambridge Independent, features 35 teams – from across Europe and as far afield as China – competing to build the best game in a weekend of accelerated gaming creativity.

Taking place as usual – this year is the event’s tenth anniversary – at Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge campus on the East Road, this year’s competition takes place amid concerns that a no-deal Brexit could undermine the international success that the UK’s gaming sector enjoys.

There’s lots at stake. Dr Apurba Kundu, acting dean of the university’s faculty of arts, law and social sciences, which hosts the festival every year, said: “By bringing together passionate, talented and ambitious gaming students with leading figures in the industry, Brains Eden has significantly shaped the future of games creation in Cambridge and beyond.

“It’s great to see where creativity and drive can take you, and we are proud to host the event for the tenth year in a row.”

Companies including Arm, PlayStation First, Sumo Digital and Frontier are returning supporters of the occasion, which requires participants to create new games in one weekend. Prizes are awarded for both coding and design.

Dom Hood, head of art at Sumo Digital, said: “Brains Eden is a great showcase of amazing young talent from all over the world.

“It’s a great opportunity to get a glimpse of how this up-and-coming generation of game developers is thinking and to see what they’re making.”

New supporters for the tenth anniversary will be Codemasters and Cambridge Assessment English.

Andrew Nye, deputy director of digital new products at Cambridge Assessment English, said: “Games play a hugely important role in learning today and we are actively exploring how they can be used to help people learn English and prove their skills to the world.

“We’re excited to meet the next generation of digital innovators and see how they respond to the challenge they are set.”

In celebration of a decade of budding brains, and with the support of industry leaders, Brains Eden organisers have devised new award categories recognising the skills and talents of more student teams than ever before.

The categories will challenge students to think creatively about this year’s theme and the narrative of their games.

A highlight of the international student games calendar, Brains Eden delivers a networking opportunity for both students and potential employers in a unversity environment with a healthy dose of friendly competition.

Alongside the 48-hour games jam, where a surprise theme is revealed at the start of the event, students can showcase their games development skills and participate in mentoring sessions where teams pitch games concepts and then their final games to industry experts.

Students also have the opportunity to attend career clinics and hear industry-focused talks from representatives of leading studios.

Mark Green, development director at Codemasters, said: “The careers clinic at Brains Eden is a great place for students to seek industry input and advice on their portfolios.

“Equally, I’ve found it incredibly useful over the years to meet students and I’ve taken on several who I first met there.”

Mentoring, sponsorship and prize donation opportunities are still available for companies looking to support the event.

Those interested in getting involved should contact alison.white@consciouscomms.com.

More information here.

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