The Independent is reporting that the head of the CBI has been criticised for suggesting computer games would be unsuccessful if designed by “spotty nerds” without awareness of the arts.
…Calling for more teenagers to study the arts, rather than maths and science, Mr Cridland said last week: “We need extra coders – dozens and dozens of them – but nobody is going to play a game designed by a spotty nerd. We need people with artistic flair.”
His comments did not go down well with Jason Kingsley, who as well as being a keen battle re-encactor is also the chairman of TIGA, the trade body for the games industry. Mr Kingsley, co-founder of Rebellion – the company behind games such as Sniper Elite III, Aliens vs Predator and Zombie Army Trilogy – warned that it was dangerous to deter teenagers from pursuing their “positive obsessions”…
“To belittle pure academic achievement with words such as ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ is something done by bullies, and is surprising coming from someone in a position to influence the career choices of many young people, some of whom respond to social pressure in ways that may not benefit them in the future. To be a nerd is to be passionate about something, and surely we should want everyone to be passionate about their career?”
…Mr Cridland said in response that he had not meant to cause offence and admitted his comments had been “clumsily” expressed…
I suspect Jonathan Cridland was trying to make a point about developing a situation where those doing STEM subjects are also encouraged to take an arts subject – which many might support – but ended up doing so in an unfortunate way.
My concern was with the snobbish implication that creativity is somehow lacking in those with a enthusiasm for science and technology compared with those involved in the arts.
Not only is this totally wrong but it is a lazy assumption that, I believe, has caused enormous damage to this country’s prospects (…but that’s a rant for another day).
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