Posted Wednesday 20 December 2023
A Kingston University computer games programming student, whose aim is to move to Japan and work in the video games industry, visited parliament and spoke to MPs and peers as part of the latest Future Skills report launch.
Ewan Hart Prieto, 22, from Hampton, was a beginner in computer games programming before he started his studies at Kingston University in 2020 but has since gained a year's hands-on experience in the industry and created a number of games.
Ewan features on the cover of Future Skills: The Kingston Approach – the University's latest Future Skills report, which was launched at an event at the House of Commons in early December. It focuses on the skills graduates need to adapt to a workplace that is rapidly changing due to the impact of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence.
The report features findings from a YouGov survey of business leaders, current students and the wider public, who shared their views about the skills most valued by employers. The survey found 79 per cent of business leaders believed it was important to teach future skills as part of the curriculum.
"Attending the launch event for the report at the House of Commons gave me a really important opportunity to talk to MPs, peers and business leaders about my course and the importance of the University's work rolling out Future Skills modules to students across every subject," Ewan said. "This is giving students the chance to develop really important skills graduate attributes, such as problem solving, digital competency and adaptability."
Now in the final year of his BSc (Hons) studies, Ewan believes the practical aspects of his course have been the most rewarding. "The fact that right from the first year we were making games meant I picked up the skills that helped me to get a placement in industry really quickly," he said. "The fundamentals I've learnt early on at Kingston University are going to be so important in my career."
Computer gaming has always been an interest of Ewan's. As part of his course, he secured a placement at Feral Interactive – a video games developer based in Wandsworth, South West London. "I learned so much on placement, from technical skills like porting games to consoles and working in a professional environment." Ewan said. "The skills I have learnt over my placement year are not only helping me in my final year of university but will also help me to get my dream job in Japan."
Upon graduating this summer Ewan aims to move to Japan and work for one of the country's top computer games developers. "My dream after graduating is to work in a Japanese gaming company as they have made some of my favorite games, to do this I will need the skills I have learnt at Kingston University."
Associate Professor Dr Darrel Greenhill, a networks and digital media specialist who is Ewan's course leader, said he had really engaged with his studies throughout his time at university, so much so that he was even helping to shape future aspects of the course.
"Through discussions in his role as a course representative, sharing his experiences on placement at a games company, helping to run a games jam and recently as a teaching assistant at an outreach event for a local school, Ewan has been consistently making a valuable contribution to the University and the next generation of computer games progammers," Dr Greenhill said.
As his graduation draws nearer, Ewan is certain the Future Skills the University is instilling in all its students will be a huge boost when it comes to launching their careers.