Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

ANDREW BATCHELOR: Dundee video games deserve Summer Streets Festival treatment

Last year's Summer Streets Festival celebrated Dundee's comic book culture, so how about a focus on our video games success next time round?

close up of two pairs of hands playing with video games consoles.
Dundee has earned its place in video games history. Image: Alan Richardson/Abertay University.

The Dundee Summer (Bash) Streets Festival was undoubtedly one of my highlights of last year.

It was great to see locals and visitors come into the city to learn more about Dundee’s comic book culture.

And it’s got me thinking – what was it about it that made it such a success?

For me, it was bringing in that Dundee element. It made for a celebration that was unique to the city and it set a high bar for festivals to come.

So if organisers are looking for a theme for the next Summer Streets Festival, can I suggest video games?

The writer Andrew Batchelor next to a quote: "Video games are in our city's DNA, every bit as much as comics, and they deserve to have a starring role in a future Dundee Summer Streets Festival."

I donโ€™t think we celebrate our video games culture enough in Dundee.

And building on the success of last yearโ€™s Summer Streets Festival would be one way to do it.

Dundee video games have an incredible history – and future

Personally, have always loved playing video games, from driving around Ibiza on Test Drive Unlimited to playing action games such as Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto.

And Dundee is a leading video game city, with amazing companies such as 4J Studios, Rockstar Dundee and Tag Games all based in the city.

aerial view of Dundee with Hollywood-style Beanotown sign on the Law.
The Beanotown sign which put Dundee on the map during last year’s Summer (Bash) Streets Festival.
Grand Theft Auto video game logo
Grand Theft Auto, one of the best-selling video games of all time, was created by Dundee-based Rockstar Games.

We should be really proud of what we’ve achieved in this field.

Famously, we created Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings and developed the console versions of Minecraft in Dundee.

But the city also leads when it comes to video game start-up businesses. And this only continues to grow as the industry itself grows.

In addition, we have Esports, which is rapidly becoming an upcoming industry for the city.

Lemmings sculpture in Dundee
Dundee’s Lemmings sculptures, based on the video games characters, are among the city’s most popular pieces of public art.
artist's impression of planned Dundee esports arena.
The future of the video games industry in Dundee? The new esports arena planned for the waterfront. Image: ADP Architecture.

Esports Scotland recently made Dundee its home with the help of Dundee and Angus College,which has launched Scotland’s first Esports course.

And of course the hotly anticipated Esports arena at the waterfront will be a game changer.

Video games are part of Dundee’s DNA

Video games have a reputation for being silly and pointless, but it has become a huge business.

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander playing a driving game
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander is a big gamer and plays video games with his children. Image: Kenny Smith/ DCT Media.

Gaming is bigger than the movie and music industries combined, and the top games are earning more than the big blockbusters.

They are also viewed as controversial. The UK Parliament even debated whether our very own Grand Theft Auto could incite violence.

But that’s a stereotype we need to defeat, when we could be focusing on the educational opportunities instead.

Abertay University of doing just that, encouraging students to create games through its Dare Academy competition and welcoming them on to its computer arts design course – the first of its kind in the world when it was introduced in 1997.

Video games are in our city’s DNA, every bit as much as comics, and they deserve to have a starring role in a future Dundee Summer Streets Festival.

I hope that turns out to be the case in the not too distant future.

Conversation