Horsham teen game designer meets Duke of Cambridge

Chris Purdy
Chris Purdy

A 14-year-old Horsham boy who won the prestigious BAFTA Young Game Designers competition last year got the chance to show off his game creation to the Duke of Cambridge at a BAFTA event this week.

Christopher Purdy met the Duke when he dropped in on a games design workshop where students were given an insight into the craft of game creation by professionals at leading UK-based games companies.

The event marked the re-launch of the BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative, which includes a UK-wide annual competition and uses workshops and online resources to inspire the game-makers of the future. HRH The Duke of Cambridge spent time engaging with the children, commenting on their efforts and suggesting a few ideas of his own.

Christopher, who showed the Duke his winning game Smiley Dodgems, commented: “[The Duke] said my game was simple and good and easy to play. It was kind of surreal to meet him, and the first experience I’ve ever had like that. It was a brilliant opportunity and I was really lucky to have that. “I still feel nervous just thinking about it. It’s turned out brilliantly because I’ve been able to show lots of people, including the Duke, my game.”

Speaking about the BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative, the Duke said: “It is a brilliant scheme to get young people started in games.

“I hope the young people take inspiration from today’s workshop, and get a taste for what a career in games might be like. I know that I, for one, as an enthusiastic but quite useless gamer, look forward to playing the weird and wonderful games which these young people dream up in the future.”

The BAFTA Young Game Designers event was presented as an example of BAFTA’s charitable work in which industry experts share their knowledge and expertise to support young people, regardless of background, to enter a career in film, television or games, during the launch of BAFTA’s ‘Give something Back’ campaign, which the Duke launched on the same day. The campaign calls on BAFTA members, award winners and industry organisations to contribute towards BAFTA’s charitable activities, which also include mentoring, scholarships, guest lectures and summer work placements.

Partners for BAFTA Young Game Designers in 2013/2014 include: EA, Jagex, King, Sony Computer Entertainment UK, SEGA, Tesco, Unity, University of Abertay Dundee and Warner Bros. UK.

For more information about BAFTA Young Game Designers, and to access the online resources, visit www.bafta.org/ygd.