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Backspace 2.0 games festival launched

Award-winning Backspace games festival returns for 2014 with launch of schools' game design competition
2nd June 2014, Leamington Spa, UK. The organisers of last year's award-winning Backspace games festival have confirmed that the event will return for 2014, with the launch of a county-wide schools' game design competition. Backspace 2.0 will run October 25th to November 2nd 2014, with a number of supporting events planned over the preceding months.
New for 2014, The Backspace Schools' Game Design Competition officially launches today and calls on young people across Coventry and Warwickshire to work together to create original game ideas. Entries are accepted until the end of July, and a panel of industry experts will choose five winners who will get to join teams of professional developers at a 48-hour games jam at Warwickshire College in early October to see their ideas brought to life. Chosen teams will also win an exclusive careers visit for their school from local developers.
A number of schools and youth groups have already signed up to take part, and the competition is supported by Samphire STEM, the regional STEMNET organisation responsible for encouraging students into careers using science, technology, engineering and maths.
Gaynor Sharp, a partner in Samphire STEM, is encouraging schools to enter the competition: “The schools and learners we work with across Coventry and Warwickshire are always keen to know more about careers in games but this is a fantastic opportunity to experience game-making and we urge all schools to take part.”
Andy Brettell, Head Teacher of Bishop's Tachbrook Primary School, is equally excited about involving his pupils: “I am delighted that our students will be involved in the Backspace competition – it's vital that the upcoming changes to the computing curriculum in September are relevant to the things that our children are passionate about, and I really hope every school will take advantage of this exciting opportunity to make real links with a thriving local industry.”
The Backspace festival first appeared in 2013 as part of local heritage event Leamington Looks Back. Originally conceived to tell the story of the region's rich history of games development, it also showcased current games and placed a strong emphasis on engaging the next generation of game developers through a programme of careers advice and hands-on activities. It attracted national attention, securing seven regional and national awards, winning Gold for Best Event at the prestigious Fresh Awards in late 2013.
Organised by local PR and marketing agencies Press Space and Vital, and produced in collaboration with Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council, Backspace 2.0 will again include a variety of events to celebrate the past, present and future of game development in the region. This year the festival will extend its reach beyond just Leamington Spa, scheduling a range of activity right across Coventry and Warwickshire. More events will be announced shortly, but confirmed so far are:
  • Pop-up exhibition chronicling the history of games in the region
  • 'Spa-Cade' games trail
  • RaspberryPi programming workshops for teachers and students
  • 2-month series of careers evenings
  • Schools' Game Design Competition and game jam
  • Develop Magazine industry Quiz Night
For more information on Backspace please visit www.BackspaceUK.com, or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Leamington-Spa-Backspace or on Twitter at @Spa_Backspace.
For more information on the Develop Industry Quiz (including booking team places), please contact alex.boucher@intentmedia.co.uk.
 
Backspace Game Design Competition Entry form and details.
 
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