New student games lab opened in collab with CA
December 2 2021 | Legacy Project
The new ELAM games lab provides a dedicated learning space for students, featuring brand new state of the art computers, professional gaming chairs and walls decorated with original artwork from Creative Assembly’s award-winning games.
The creation of an interactive and inspirational learning space for the talented young games designers aims to help them take their work to the next level. Many of ELAM’s trainees do not have access to equipment outside of school, with 34% coming from low income households and on Free School Meals so this provision, alongside high quality education, is essential in helping them flourish.
Speaking on the launch of the lab, Director of Games at ELAM, Curtis Le Blanc, said; “We are so happy to launch this new dedicated games education space and to welcome the trainees to learn and grow their skills there. As well as providing a unique and high-tech learning environment, the lab is decorated with fantastic artwork from Creative Assembly to inspire and amaze students as they continue to aim high in their industry aspirations."
Head of Talent at Creative Assembly, Emma Smith said; “Creative Assembly has been supporting ELAM since the start of their game design course in 2017 as we recognised the potential of the college, and its importance in servicing young people in one of the most deprived areas of the country. We are delighted to support the opening of their new learning lab, as another step in opening doors for students, giving them a taste of what the industry is like and helping arm them with the expertise and skills to succeed.”
ELAM’s partnership with Creative Assembly was the first integrated partnership in the UK for Further Education Game Design that sees students following an industry-developed curriculum. The course gives students the opportunity to learn game-making on a holistic level, encompassing games art, mechanics, programming, storytelling and sound alongside mentoring, masterclasses, workshops and more, from Creative Assembly’s experts.
There is nowhere like ELAM when it comes to studying Games Design in the UK. The industry links, the expertise of the teachers, all of whom have a background in the gaming industry and the high quality and rigorous curriculum mean that the games designers who graduate from ELAM are among the most accomplished in the country. They have gone from strength to strength since the launch of the course in 2017, continuing to create impressive industry standard games.
Sara Szasz, current Year 13 trainee won the senior Game Maker category for her game "Thoughtless" at the BAFTA Young Games Designer Awards in July where ELAM received 3 nominations in total including Mentor of the Year for their games programming teacher Gregor Manby. Many trainees have gone on to gain places on the Computer Games Design BA course at Teesside University and one of the most successful games alumni is currently working as an Assistant Technical Director at Bluebolt - a VFX studio in London that has worked on titles such as Skyfall, Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders.
ELAM was established in 2014 as an academy for 16-19 year olds to accelerate progress towards better, more diverse creative industries. It is recognised as one of the leading schools of its type in the country and is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. ELAM provides trainees with two free years of world-class education that equips them with the skills, expertise and personal qualities needed to succeed in the games, film and music industries. ELAM aims to inspire some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised young people within London to access a career within the gaming industry, a sector which has historically been relatively inaccessible to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. At ELAM, 60% of students come from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background with 34% from low income households and on Free School Meals.
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