A SCOTTISH digital game design initiative has been launched today with the aim of making Gaelic more accessible to national and international audiences. The Kilted Otter Initiative will see a range of new educational, cultural and collaborative digital games experiences created, exploring Gaelic and Scottish heritage.

The Scottish Government has teamed up with Abertay University in Dundee, Gaelic media organisation MG ALBA , Bord na Gaidhlig the Royal National Mod, business support programme XpoNorth and Women in Games for the project.

The scheme will be implemented in phases, with the first phase involving research gathering and the creation of a guidance pack for games designers, detailing Gaelic language and heritage, including written, audio and video stories from native Gaelic speakers themselves.

Once the pack has been created, a two-month game jam will be held, with participants invited to create new digital game concepts using the information as inspiration and creating games with a Gaelic heritage connection.

The game jam will be part of Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival, the Royal National Mod, marking the first time digital games have been included.

Many Scottish local authority areas have already signed up to take part, and participating schools will have the opportunity to build the game jam into their language projects within school curricula, forming one or two lessons a week for the duration of two-month game jam.

Lecturers and students from Abertay will join experts from the Scottish games industry and academics from other universities to provide lessons in games design and programming, encouraging pupils to think about a career in the games sector, where Scotland is a global leader.

Abertay University’s Charly Harbord (above), who created the Initiative, said: “It is absolutely vital that we continue to protect and promote the Gaelic language and the Kilted Otter Initiative does this in an innovative, engaging, and fun way that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds.”