Sir James Dyson, the creator of the Dyson vacuum range, is concerned that the government's effort to revitalise the UK games industry might cause a shortage of graduates going into engineering, science and traditional manufacturing.
"The glamour of web fads and video gaming" is now more attractive than "tangible technology that we can export," Dyson told Radio Times in an interview [via GamesIndustry]. "The government must do more to attract the brightest and best into engineering and science so that we can compete internationally."
"26 per cent of engineering graduates do not go into engineering or technical professions," he continued. "More worrying is that 85 per cent of all engineering and science postgraduates in our universities come from outside the UK."
The UK government's recent tax breaks for British developers and publishing ventures should certainly help us to retain some of our game development talent and lead to an increased number of jobs in the sector, but Dyson argues that the government is growing increasingly obsessed by the market to the detriment of engineering roles.
While it's possible to argue that developing games is probably more glamorous than slaving away on designing appliances or industrial machinery (and Sir Dyson undoubtedly knows what he's talking about), the practical reality of crunch times and workload is anything but glam. More to the point, we rather feel that UK-developed videogames could be one of our most valuable exports.
Any engineering students or gradutates being tempted away from a more traditional career by the allure of gaming? As a geology grad, I can't really comment...