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Bears and Buddies Workshop shows continuing success
New to Dundee continues series two by revisiting Bears and Buddies Workshop in the Wellgate Centre Dundee. The enterprising Arnot family spotted a gap in the market for customisable teddy bears and their business Bears and Buddies Workshop was born. Recently expanding into on line and the childrens party market they have ensured their continuing success in their crucial first few years in business.
Scott spoke to Andrew Arnot who appeared in the original video and explained how things were going for the business as a whole. Andrew has been helping run the business while a fourth year business student at Abertay University in Dundee.
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BAFTA-winning student game unveiled
The BAFTA and Dare to be Digital ‘Ones to Watch’ award for a new student game was awarded tonight to Swallowtail, a team from Norwich University College of the Arts and the University of Abertay Dundee.
‘Ones to Watch’ is a unique BAFTA prize, only available to competitors in the University of Abertay Dundee’s world-leading game design competition Dare to be Digital.
The winning game is a beautiful, colourful puzzler called Tick Tock Toys for the iPad, where you need to clear a toy box to help your clockwork robot pass a series of obstacles.
Each summer 15 teams come to Abertay University to build a working game in just nine weeks. The games then go on show to thousands of members of the public at the Dare ProtoPlay games festival in Dundee.
Last year’s festival was opened by the man behind the Raspberry Pi credit card-sized PC, David Braben.
Sophia George, team leader of Swallowtail, said: “We’re really thrilled and shocked to win – and very excited for the future. We’d really like to release Tick Tock Toys for the iPad
“Dare to be Digital has been such an amazing experience, from coming to Abertay University, working through the whole Dare experience with amazing mentors, and now to the BAFTAs.
“We hope we’ve made our universities, teachers and families proud of us.”
Sophia studied at Norwich University College of the Arts before moving to Dundee to study Abertay University’s applied Professional Masters in Games Development course.
Swallowtail’s other members are Rosie Ball, Mark Bamford, Kristian Francis and Callum Goold.
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland is known the world over as place of great creativity and innovation, with our computer games industry undoubtedly one of our global success stories.
“I would like to congratulate Swallowtail on being named BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ in 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland. They and the other nominees from Dare to be Digital are helping to enhance Scotland’s international reputation for creative excellence and contributing to the success of our creative industries sector.”
Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “Winning a BAFTA is a life-changing experience for anyone looking to enter the games industry, and we’re delighted to see a game as enjoyable and as professional as Tick Tock Toys taking the ‘Ones to Watch’ award this evening.
“The quality of the Dare to be Digital games is quite incredible. Building a game in just nine weeks is an amazing achievement, and thousands of people saw, played and enjoyed these games last summer at our Dare ProtoPlay games festival in Dundee.”
He added: “These students are entering the games industry at a fascinating time, with unprecedented opportunities for small teams to publish their own games online.
“Just look at the huge success of Minecraft, whose creator Markus Persson won the BAFTA Special Award this evening. Small, creative teams can create sustainable businesses, which is a major focus for both Dare to be Digital and Abertay’s Prototype Fund.”
All three BAFTA-nominated teams also had the opportunity of pitching their games to a panel of industry experts at a special BAFTA and Abertay University Prototype Fund event on Thursday night.
Applications for Dare to be Digital 2012 are now open at http://www.daretobedigital.
The career-launching award was announced at a glittering ceremony in the London Hilton, Park Lane, hosted by comedian and games enthusiast Dara O Briain.
What characteristics will attract you to your Valentine ?
An expert in facial attractiveness and sexual signalling from the University of Abertay Dundee is looking for volunteers to take part in a brand new study aimed at determining the factors behind mate choice.
Dr Fhionna Moore has studied human behavioural ecology and evolutionary psychology for several years and works with experts from around the world.
Dr Moore said: “Research into human attraction has yielded a fascinating insight into the ways in which men and women around the world choose their partners.
“On one hand are rich cultural differences in the characteristics that are attractive in the opposite sex – in a study of ethnographic data, for example, I found reference to attractive traits as diverse as black teeth and strong legs – and on the other are consistent differences in the preferences of men and women.
“A general pattern across societies, for example, is that men tend to focus on physical appearance, whereas women weight cues to a partner’s status more highly. While this large body of work has been useful in identifying key patterns across societies, a major criticism is that it has been limited by only looking at the characteristics that the researcher considers to be important in order to test a particular theory. This means that we may not get an accurate picture of real preferences – it might be the case that the characteristics we have focussed on are relatively unimportant in reality.
Dr Moore is now looking to further existing research by removing what could be leading factors – i.e starting with a blank canvas by removing the characteristics that are commonly believed to be important.
“To identify the characteristics that are really driving partner choice in the real world, I am collecting data online in which I am asking participants to tell me about the characteristics they consider to be important in a partner – rather than the other way round. I am looking for male and female participants who are over the age of 18 to contribute their views to the study by filling in a short questionnaire.” Dr Moore said.
To take part in the study please log on to: http://psych.abertay.ac.uk/tradeoffs/study1/pis.html
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