Karen Tocher, business tourism manager at Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau, takes a look at the influence digital innovators have had on the world…
There must be something in the water in Dundee that nourishes creative instinct. Digital pioneers from the city and surrounding area have, over the last 25-30 years, made great strides that have impacted UK and global industries – and they continue to do so to this day.
In 1991, DMA Design – now Rockstar North – unleashed a simple videogame into the world. That video game was the instant classic, Lemmings. Just six years later, the company would release Grand Theft Auto, which would go on to spawn a franchise that has revolutionised the computer games industry around the world.
More recently the city’s 4J Studios has been instrumental in the development of the immensely popular game Minecraft.
With such a strong digital pedigree, it’s no wonder that the city’s academic institutions are producing world-class digital experts who are leading the way in developing new and exciting technologies.
Abertay University’s dedicated computer games courses have spawned numerous projects which have gone on to affect the world around us, not just in the realm of entertainment. Following a game jam – where students are set a challenge and a finite time limit – Hyper Luminal Games and Droman Solutions Ltd were able to develop an interactive learning game for Police Scotland.
The technology mimics the process officers go through when seizing hardware in a cybercrime investigation, providing them with the latest guidance to ensure evidence isn’t corrupted or damaged.
Across the city, the University of Dundee is also using digital technology in new and exciting ways. MyWay Digital Health has spun out of research carried out at the university, building on the success of the My Diabetes My Way digital platform which provides users with advice and tools to monitor the symptoms of diabetes.
The James Hutton Institute, too, has made strides forward in the digital field, creating a soil map of Great Britain, allowing researchers to easily identify samples from across the country by their characteristics.
With the industry contributing £97 million to the local economy, and providing over 3,500 jobs in the region, it’s clear that digital innovators are here to stay in Dundee and the surrounding area; and that the ideas they dream up today will become the legends of tomorrow.