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Hundreds of vacancies in gaming

FEW industries in Ireland can boast hundreds of vacancies. Yet students considering a foray into the world of digital gaming were yesterday told there are plenty of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs.

"At present, I'm sure it can be a bit depressing for students who are approaching the end of their college years -- all they hear about is unemployment, recession and emigration," said Jamie McCormick, from Gala Networks Europe, a publisher of free-to-play multiplayer online games.

"But the gaming industry -- right here in Ireland -- has hundreds of vacancies."

Gala Networks were among a number of gaming firms attending the launch in Dublin of the Irish leg of an international video games development competition for third-level students called 'Dare to be Digital'.

Dr Stephen Brennan, from the Digital Hub Development Agency, said the competition offered students a foot in the door of the gaming industry.

Teams of five students -- from the Republic and the North -- can apply to spend nine weeks at Abertay University in Scotland next summer developing prototype video games and receiving mentoring from experts in some of the biggest gaming companies such as Sega, Sony and Rockstar.

Meanwhile International data giant EMC is to develop a Cloud Innovation Centre which will allow firms to test, develop and demonstrate 'apps' that could be used within the public sector and other businesses.

EMC has predicted Ireland will become a hub for cloud computing.

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