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Bafta win for inspirational Cambridge Regional College lecturer

A dedicated and inspirational lecturer at Cambridge Regional College has won a BAFTA YGD (Young Games Designers) mentor prize at a glittering awards ceremony.

Michael Warburton, head of the college’s innovative and internationally-acclaimed games development programme, was presented with the YGD Mentor Award at the prestigious event at BAFTA’s headquarters in Piccadilly.

The ceremony was attended by stars of games, television and radio, with a special message for the winners from BAFTA president HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Michael, who beat off strong competition from lecturers across the country to win the coveted award, said he was humbled and honoured to receive the accolade.

“Going to the awards was just an amazing experience and I can’t quite believe I’ve won. I’m absolutely delighted and very proud and honoured,” he said.

“The future of the gaming industry is in the up and coming talent, and it’s fantastic to be a part of that as a games development lecturer.”

The YGD Mentor Award is presented to an individual nominated by the public for their involvement in the education of young game designers. The judges picked Michael – who was shortlisted for the award last year – for his inspirational work at CRC and as creator of the student-run Rizing Games, which they described as “the first FE educational commercial games development studio in the country.”

As part of Rizing Games, Michael’s students now run a stall at E3 every June and continue to be the only UK-based college or University to attend and exhibit commercially-released games.

Harvey Elliott, Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, said: “The creativity exhibited through the BAFTA YGD Awards each year demonstrates the wealth of young talent available to the games industry, and it is a great privilege for BAFTA to play such an active role in nurturing and celebrating the game makers of tomorrow.

“We are always greatly indebted to the educators who continue to inspire creativity in their students and support the initiative, with special thanks this year to our YGD Mentor Award winner Michael Warburton.”

In a message to all the finalists, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of BAFTA, said: “The games industry continues to be one of the most successful, creative and fastest growing in the country and I am pleased to see so many young people taking advantage of this exciting opportunity – one which could well launch their careers as the next big thing in British games.”

The YGD Awards ceremony was hosted by CBBC presenter Ben Shires and games journalist Jane Douglas. Presenting the awards were: BBC Radio 1 presenter Dev Griffin; actress Amy-Leigh Hickman, Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment); and games scriptwriter Rhianna Pratchett.

The winners included four aspiring game creators aged between 10 and 18, and the YGD Hero Award, won by Media Molecule, the makers of the multi-BAFTA-winning puzzle platform games LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2.

Pictured CRC lecturer Michael Warburton is presented with his BAFTA YGD Mentor Award by Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie

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For more information, please contact Lynn O’Shea, Cambridge Regional College Press Officer, on 01223418773 or email [email protected]

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