Awards 2010: Graduate Gets Real With Computer Games

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Awards 2010: Graduate Gets Real With Computer Games

Date posted: 19 January 2010

Computer games expert Mat Henson is playing it seriously by creating realistic programmes for an international company whose clients include the US and UK defence departments, the police and major industries.

South African Mat Henson will graduate with a 2:1 from his BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming degree course at the University's Awards Ceremonies on January 22-23, at the Derby Assembly Rooms.

Part of his three-year course involved a year's work experience with computer games company Playgen, which has offices in New York, London and Coventry.

Rather than pure entertainment games aimed at the High Street market, the company specialises in educational and training ones depicting real life possibilities. Its previous clients have included the US Department of Defense, the UK's Ministry of Defence, West Midlands Police Authority; and science, technology and bio-medical industries.

Playgen was so happy with Mat's work at the company that it kept him on part-time during his final year back at the University and gave him a job at its London office after he finished his degree course last summer (2009). He is now employed at Playgen in a senior position as a Technical Director.

Mat, 23, said: "Before I came from South Africa to study in the UK I had looked into different universities' computer games courses and found a lot of them too general. If you're serious about working in the industry you can't just be a 'jack of all trades'.

"The Derby course was different. It has a very solid foundation in programming and maths, and a lot of the lecturers have previously worked within the computer games industry."

He added: "Playgen has worked for some very big clients and it is good to be doing something that is a bit different from the popular image of computer games."

Kam Star, Managing Director of PlayGen, said: "We are very pleased with the standard of students coming out of the University of Derby's Computer Games courses, as they seem to have all the qualities one needs to succeed in the industry; namely hard work, the ability to act on criticism and the resilience to maintain their thirst to succeed."

More than 2,000 people will graduate from the University of Derby during its Awards Ceremonies on January 22-23 in a wide range of subjects including art, business, law, engineering, computing, education and psychology.

For further media information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email

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