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Leamington Spa (aka ‘Silicon Spa’) plays host to TIGA’s Game Dev Night next week (20th February).  Featured speakers include David Fullick & Dan Griffiths from Monster & Monster, creators of Autumn Walk and Winter Walk on iOS/Android.

The event is free to members and non-member developers…..and there is FREE food and drinks!

Event details at:

If you work in the games industry (or are a student hoping to do so) and live in the vicinity of Leamington then make sure you follow Silicon Spa Games on Twitter – @siliconspagames



Graham Brown-Martin from Learning Without Frontiers has asked me to help circulate the following message:

“Hello All,

It appears that there is some confusion amongst the developer community about our delegate pricing structure.
As a consequence of our first advisory group meeting it was suggested that we offer a special pass for developers who didn’t want the hassle (or cost) of manning an exhibition stand but wanted to benefit from the networking opportunities of the conference by having access to a “developers lounge” where, with sufficient power / Wi-Fi facilities, they could take delegates for meetings and demonstrations, have access to all day refreshments and also have a 12 month listing on the GBL 10 proceedings website. They would also receive colour coded badging (or wrist banding) that would identify their developer status.

This was supposed to be a “good thing”. The idea is to foster business between the development community and the many delegates who are seeking talent.

To cater for the extra benefits of providing this pass we set pricing at £695 rather than the standard business delegate rate of £495.
However, this morning I have taken an irate email from a developer who thought they were being unfairly penalised by this “developer rate” believing that as they were a developer they could not simply register using the current £345 early bird (ending Jan 31st) or if they miss the deadline the standard business rate and attend as a regular delegate.
This, of course, is not the case but it did make me wonder if my organisation had been clear in it’s communications. So, to be extra clear, anybody can register for an early bird pass at £345 (and receive all the goodies!) up to Jan 31st. Then education delegates can register at £445 and business at £495 until March 19th. After this date it’s £595 for everybody. IF you’re a developer AND would like access to the developer lounge services and benefits then its £695.

Many thanks
Graham Brown-Martin”

Just to remind people that you can read about the event and the registration/pricing info by clicking here.

Posted on behalf of Claire at Futurelab….

Futurelab has been appointed as the UK National Coordinator for a pan-European study of the use of computer and video games in schools. Our Games and Learning project is a programme of research, events and planned publications intended to stimulate discussion and the development of new intelligence.

The overall aim is to demonstrate what challenges and opportunities have emerged from debates and developments in this field to date, and to identify practical actions and interventions to be taken forwards. We are looking to set up a network of educators interested in the project who would like to receive more information about our research.

If anyone is interested or would like to become involved, they can email me at

I had the genuine pleasure of 2 days at the Games-based Learning 2009 conference in London last week. I emphasize ‘pleasure’ as so many conferences of late have lacked that quality. ‘Perfunctionary’, ‘efficient’, ‘well-organised’ they have been but  ‘passionate’, dominated by ‘heated debate’, and ‘thought-provoking’ they are rarely. GBL 09 was different. Yes, the usual suspects were there – Jim, Kam, Graham and Chris – but it was refreshing to see 300 new faces and to find myself in abstract discussions with teachers, programmers, translators, academics, politicians and all manner of people whom I had not met before.

For a while it felt like a Serious Games Summit from 5 years ago (“Are games useful for learning?”), and yes, there was quite an initial concentration upon using COTS games for schools but the topics changed and the audience sure stirred things up.

The Twitter streams were very busy and this was, I confess, the moment I first really ‘got Twitter’ (#gamebl)

Highlights for me were seeing Nolan Bushnell in the flesh (even if the message was hard to agree with), Tom Watson, UK government Minister (you get my vote!) and “the legend that is” Derek Robertson of LTS Scotland.

So, great conversation, very slick event, great location, fantastic turnout, interesting applications on show and all round positive buzz.

Thanks go to Graham Brown-Martin at Learning Without Frontiers.

My colleague Helen Routledge at PIXELearning felt so strongly about the silly UK Government-backed change4life initiative’s unfair targeting of computer games that has set up a dedicated Facebook group.

Read more (and sign up) at:

Meanwhile MCV has been full of stories about this including the filing of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency(ASA) and SEGA, EA, Ubisoft and others publicly criticising the adverts (that appeared in various woman’s magazines). Catch up with the story at:

MCV also commented on the fact that several major purveyors of fatty/sugary foods are part of the campaign yet not a single representative from the computer games industry is present. The Evil Number 27 thinks this is more than a little biased!

The real reason???

The real reason???

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