As our recent feature on the development of Sheffield Hallam University title BounceBack evidenced, Sony is heavily involved in the academic aspect of game production. Reinforcing that, the platform holder took a front seat at the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition, which took place in London last night.

The ceremony – in its third term – acknowledges the outstanding 11-16 year-olds who have excelled in both game design and development. 15 year-old Charlie Hutton-Pattemore from Taunton in Somerset took home the game concept gong for his puzzle title Vacuum Panic. Meanwhile, 13-year old Christopher Purdy from Horsham in West Sussex snatched the inaugural game making award, which was sponsored by SCEE. His playable demo – named Smiley Dodgems – sees you attempting to stop a happy face from frowning by avoiding an onslaught of enemy shapes.

Both winners will be invited to take a tour of Sony’s London Studio, where they’ll be able to interact with the developers of the SingStar, EyeToy, and, more recently, Wonderbook titles. Even more annoyingly, the youngsters got to meet Hollyoaks’ Anna Shaffer, who acted as a celebrity ambassador for the game concept award. We really should have spent more time listening at school.