Academy of Interactive Entertainment to open in Victoria

The Victorian government will contribute $150,000 towards the establishment of a school to train the next generation of computer game developers.

The Melbourne-based Academy of Interactive Entertainment will open next year.

Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Marsha Thomson, said the Academy of Interactive Entertainment woulddirectly address the skills needs of Victoria's computer game industry by ensuring a constant supply of trained computer games technicians.

“The industry is telling [the government it needs] people with these kinds of skills and this will only continue to help fuel the growth of Victoria's world-class computer game industry,” she said.

“The fact the Academy has chosen Melbourne to open its second campus is a major win for Victoria and further bolsters our reputation as Australia’s computer game capital.”

The first campus is based at Canberra’s Technology Park. The Melbourne campus is to be headed by David Giles who has more than nine years experience in the video games industry. Giles was previously at Beam Software.

The Academy of Interactive Entertainment is recognised as Australia's peak non-profit registered training organisation for the Australian computer game industry and has operated from its Canberra base since 1996.

The Melbourne campus is due to begin classes in the first semester of 2004, initially creating six new jobs, with an intake of 80 students.

Thomson claimed the academy will also benefit Victoria's film and television industry. Courses will focus on a range of skills including 3D animation, computer modelling and design.

“Victoria is now home to more than half of Australia's computer game industry and employs more than 300 people,” she said.

“The Victorian computer game industry currently exports an estimated $30 million annually and employs more than 300 full-time artists, designers, producers and game developers.”

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