Software and games designers of the future aim were playing their way to possible future careers at major Blackpool games event

IT students and staff from Blackpool and The Fylde College were at the Play Expo event in Blackpool on October 12 and 13
IT students and staff from Blackpool and The Fylde College were at the Play Expo event in Blackpool on October 12 and 13
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Students and tutors from Blackpool and the Fylde College headed to PLAY Expo Blackpool at the weekend, to glean knowledge from game developers and advise youngsters on how to become the digital aces of the future.

The event, at the Norcalympia Exhibition Centre, is the UK’s longest-running retro game show and a homage to the best computer games from the past five decades.

Thousands of games, running on a variety of different consoles and computers screens filled the arena, providing hours of fun and a different kind of learning curve for the students.

B&FC has attended over the past few years and has seen some of the young people it met there, joining its course in Software Engineering (Game Development) later.

As such, one reason for attendance is for the college to explain about the game development opportunity it provides for employment in the future. Another is to show off some of the virtual reality and augmented reality kit that its students use.

Around 15 students studying on the course took their own research and portfolios, to showcase what they have already achieved on the specialised course.

It is initially a Foundation Degree course, but it can be turned into a BSc Honours degree with one-year of top-up studies. It is one of the specialised computer science courses on offer at B&FC, with degrees in Network Engineering, Cybersecurity and Web Technologies also on offer.

Senior tutor Christopher Willitts, said: “We love taking the students to PLAY Expo Blackpool, to let them engage and inspire potential students of the future. They get a real boost from presenting their work to the public and seeing how it is received.

“The event has helped boost the profile of our courses no end and it’s fabulous for our students to hear about current and past game development, from some of the leading names in the industry, thanks to the superb PLAY Expo Blackpool speaker programme.”

This year, the speaker programme included the team from Playtonic Games.

Event founder, Andy Brown, managing director of Replay Events, said: “We are delighted to help the students at B&FC, by opening their eyes to what has gone on in the world of gaming, and which could perhaps form the basis of an idea for the future, along with what is happening in the sector right now.”