Inspired and 'humble' student, 18, nominated for a BAFTA

Soham student and teacher Young Game Designers BAFTAs

Tom Kay (left) has been chosen as one of the finalists in the Game Making category at the Young Game Designers BAFTAs. - Credit: West Suffolk College

An 18-year-old student inspired by ‘old school’ arcade games has been nominated for a BAFTA. 

Tom Kay of Soham was set a project based on the word ‘randomness’ at West Suffolk College where he studies a level three games design course. 

After thinking of a concept called Marsh, Tom’s tutors were impressed by his efforts and encouraged him to put his work forward for an award. 

Sam Read, Tom’s teacher, said: “He doesn’t know how good he is.” 

The teenager then submitted an application to the Young Game Designers BAFTAs to later find out he has been shortlisted as one of the finalists for the Game Making award. 

Tom, who hopes to run an independent game making business in future, was taken aback by the news. 

He said: “I was surprised to be nominated; it would be great to win and if I won and had to make an acceptance speech, I’d thank my teachers.” 

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Mr Read, a lecturer in digital art and design, has been nominated for two BAFTAs for his support of the creation of games Splemy and Gang Beasts. 

He said: “What Tom is doing is at an industry level and he is very humble. 

“There is lots of good stuff going on in the world to promote young talent and it’s great that BAFTA does this.” 

West Suffolk College is expanding their games design programme later this year with the launch of a new degree course in video games design this September. 

Derek Johnson, director of art and design at the college, added: “We have a very proud of record of supporting people of all ages progress onto the very best universities and into careers. 

“Tom’s achievement helps to reinforce this view and we are proud of him and of the support that our games design team have given to Tom, to help him reach these heights.” 

The Young Game Designers BAFTAs aims to inspire and support young people to create, develop and present their new game idea on an international scale. 

All nominees will receive a bundle of games goodies from Young Game Designers partners, a series of masterclasses and online networking with industry professionals, as well as careers advice. 

The winner of the Game Making category award will be announced at the Young Game Designer BAFTAs online ceremony on Thursday, July 8, 2021.