ICT and Computing: The Future of Gaming
Earlier this term, Mr Betts, Bede's Head of ICT and Computing, took a group of students to EGX in London.
Previously known as the Eurogamer Expo and renamed in 2013, the exhibition was first launched in 2008 to promote video gaming technologies and products.
Much like the video games industry itself, EGX has blossomed in recent years from its first 4,000 strong turnstile seven years ago to 75,000 in 2014.
This rapid expansion in attendance reflects the significant and growing role interactive entertainment plays in the UK economy, with over 500 games development studios now registered in the UK employing around 9000 staff and generating sales of video games totalling in excess of £2.2 billion.
As the video games industry grows, so too does the demand for highly skilled developers - both in hardware and software.
Bearing in mind the forward-looking nature of Bede's as a school, with a growing ICT and Computing department and an increasingly popular range of Programming Clubs running as part of our Co-Curricular Programme, it was gratifying to see so many pupils coming back from EGX so thoroughly enthused.
The big topics up for discussion this year were the PlayStation 4's strong market position, the integration of multimedia services onto home consoles and VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift which made a big impression on these Bede's students:
Harry Tait, Knights House
EXG was an amazing experience.
When we arrived I was stunned by what I saw. There were hundreds of games and new technology which I had never seen before.
Whilst there we got the chance to play and learn about the games that were there. We got to meet the creators and developers of each game which was very beneficial, as we got to learn what they used to create the game, how long it took them, how many people helped make it and lots of other questions.
We got to see what the newest technology was and what the games were being played on, such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the VR Headset "Oculus Rift" which is expected to become very big very soon.
To use the Oculus Rift you wear goggles and headphones which block out all sight and sound of the outside world and immerse you in a 3D virtual world. We learned how the Oculus Rift works, which was very interesting and informative.
I would advise going to EGX if you ever got the opportunity as I learned a lot of information which could be very handy in the future.
Even having been already I would love to go again because it was such a big place and so much to take in and learn!
Amadeu Pardina, Camberlot House
Going to the EGX was an even better trip that I expected.
Just getting there and seeing the future of gaming together in one room was enough to make the three hours of bus journeying worth it! Everywhere I looked there was a place where you could play the kinds of games which only a few years ago I had only dreamed of.
Sometimes developers were there representing their games and would happily answer your questions.
The best part of my experience was trying the Oculus Rift. It literally felt like I was inside the games! It was great to learn about the hours that had been spent in development to make sure that every movement a user might take would be reflected by the camera in the game.
In that moment I felt the future was here and that the gaming world was going to experience a revolution.
I basically played the future while I also learned how it was created. Understanding how the most simple movement of a character needs hours of programming and designing really brought home for me why so much money is needed to make an amazing video game - even more than to make an amazing movie!
That trip to EGX was something I will never forget.
Linus Forsdick, Knights House
As I entered the show floor of EGX I was shocked by how huge the area was. I didn't know where to go first!
I decided to go upstairs to where all of the small game developers were showcasing their games. I sat with a developer of a game called "Verdun" which is a strategy game set in World War 1. He explained to me the stages of how they developed the character models and how they had balanced the game out to make it fair for both sides.
It was amazingly detailed seeing as it was made by a group of three people who were all in their 20s!
I then headed towards the University of Bradford booth where they showed a tech demo of something they had made using the Oculus Rift. This virtual reality headset makes you feel like you are actually doing what is going on in the game!
In the case of the game I tried, it was a skiing game. The developers told me of the different courses you can do in game design, which was extremely useful, and I would definitely recommend going to EGX next year as it is great fun - no matter who you are!