Generation: Gamerz Sally Forth into Sherwood Forest!

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A postgraduate student has created a new computer game designed to
support Nottinghamshire's bid to regenerate Sherwood Forest into a
world-class tourist destination. Adam Duncan designed the game, Outlaws
of Sherwood,
as part of his MSc Multimedia Games Engineering course at
Nottingham Trent University.

Well that's a damn fine way to get people interested in something of natural beauty and untold historical value. Yes the forest where Robin Hood allegedly lived is real, now where's that Prince of Thieves video...

Outlaws of Sherwood will be
officially launched by a Robin Hood-lookalike and Heritage Ranger Ade
Andrews on Thursday, October 25 in Nottingham's Market Square. The
event is being staged and hosted by Nottingham's GameCity festival, a
week-long celebration of the modern culture of videogames. Nottingham
Trent University is the lead partner for the festival, which features
an extraordinary array of gaming events and aims to explore videogames
in new and exciting ways.

The game will also form part of a
drive to secure £50m investment from the Big Lottery Fund to transform
Sherwood Forest into a top sustainable destination and inspirational
community resource. The longstanding vision - Sherwood: the Living
Legend - is being backed by a consortium of stakeholders and is
shortlisted for the funding along with five other major projects
nationwide. Shorlisted projects will go to a public vote in December.


Outlaws of Sherwood,
which can be accessed via Sherwood: The Living Legend website (www.robinhood.co.uk),
features four stages which gamers need to guide their hero through to
support and protect the forest. These include avoiding various
obstacles while collecting gold, picking out the Sheriff's knights with
a bow and arrow, and seeing how far you can throw a nobleman.

People
who visit the website and play Outlaws of Sherwood will be encouraged
to pledge their support to vote for the project. This can be done by
registering at www.robinhood.co.uk or texting robin to 81025 (in the UK).

Adam
said: "Outlaws of Sherwood was designed with the intention of appealing
to as large an audience as possible. Using a game for the purposes of
promotion gives the project the potential to draw people in who might
not otherwise find out about the bid; it also shows how games can be
used as tools to support worthy causes."

He added: "I'm proud to
have had the opportunity to be involved in a project that helps the
local community and I hope that the game goes on to contribute towards
a successful bid."

James Lewis, Adam's tutor and Senior Lecturer
in Computer Science, said: "Adam's done a great job. This project
highlights the high standards achieved by students on Nottingham Trent
University's computer games courses. We hope to demonstrate that
computer games can be used as an effective campaigning tool. I'm
delighted that the university has been able to help spread word about
the Sherwood Forest project in such an innovative way."

If the
Sherwood Forest bid is successful, the money would be used to pay for a
range of improvements. These include creating an
environmentally-friendly visitor complex in the form of a 100ft-high
tree, giving visitors amazing views of the Sherwood landscape from a
treetop viewing gallery; doubling in size the core of the ancient Oak
Forest; and creating a 250km network of walking, cycling and horse
riding paths.

Finally, at least 50 Nottinghamshire communities
would be given the opportunity to enhance the place where they live by
choosing a scheme to improve their local environment and illustrate
their unique connection to Sherwood. Ideas could involve interpretation
boards for important natural or historical features, new community
designed village signs, creating nature trails or historical walks, or
tree, hedge and wildflower planting. 

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