ICT educators must be 'more engaging'

Children are not being properly engaged by the way that ICT is taught in schools, it has been claimed.

This is extremely detrimental to the sector, which is constantly growing and needs new blood and ideas, according to David Braben, founder of independent computer and video games developer Frontier Developments. He said this is because there is currently no uniform way of teaching IT set out in the national curriculum.

David was a guest speaker at the Westminster eForum, which looked at what the British government can do to support the UK games industry as the sector continues to grow.

“The real problem is that ICT is very, very dull from a school and kids' point of view [and] the [university] courses that claim you can get a job in the games industry, or apply, and yet are just studies of games, are of no use to us,” the Chartered Institute for IT reported him as saying.

According to data from university applications board UCAS, the overall number of applicants accepted onto science, maths and computer science degrees rose by 5.6% last year.

The computer and video games industry in the UK is now bigger than music and movie making, and some of the world's best known titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider, have emanated from development houses in the UK regions. The UK games industry faces fierce competition from Canada and France, and some of the country’s leading talent are being wooed by the software houses of Japan and the US.