Hartlepool lecturer in running for BAFTA award for inspiring next generation of video game makers
A Hartlepool college lecturer is in the running for a prestigious BAFTA award for inspiring students to make video games.
Hartlepool Sixth Form lecturer Chris Jeffrey has been nominated for BAFTA’s 2021 Young Games Designer Mentor Award by his students.
The award is presented to educators whose passion and dedication motivates learners through games development and design.
In 2019 the college, part of Education Partnership North East, opened its Next Gen Skills Academy offering students state-of-the-art facilities including specialist development studios, virtual and mixed reality labs, and qualifications to progress in the industry.
As well as bringing games design to life in the classroom, Chris has also encouraged and supported his students to showcase their talent and creativity at the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition.
Under his expert guidance, students have won the Game Making Award – Adam Pace for platform game Wip in 2019 – while also being named finalists in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Chris said: “As soon as I heard about my nomination, I was smiling from ear to ear and absolutely over the moon.
"To be appreciated by my students in this way is such an honour.
“I always strive to lead by example, paving the way for students to have the best possible start to their careers by drawing on my passion for games development and own experiences as an indie developer.
“Preparing students for the industry is extremely important to me, as is helping them find and hone their specialisms.
"The games industry is highly competitive and all I want is the best for every student I teach.
“Winning this award would be the ultimate recognition of both my endeavours as an indie game developer and as a lecturer.”
A shortlist of three nominees is due to be drawn up next week and the winner announced in the summer.
Jane Reed, faculty director for digital, creative and access, added: “This is amazing news. Chris not only provides excellent support and guidance to the students; his interaction has a really positive impact upon our young people at the college.
“Chris shares his wealth of expertise with such passion and enthusiasm and is truly inspirational.
"He an outstanding role model for anyone wanting to pursue a career in the games industry.”