A master of playing the game

PLAYING computer games when you should be writing your thesis doesn't sound like a recipe for success, but for David Giles it led to his big break in the fledgling games industry.

A filmmaker turned special-effects artist, Mr Giles worked with explosives on Australian miniseries such as ANZACs in the early 1980s before moving to Britain to do "the jobs that no one else wanted to do", such as helping build the Bog of Eternal Stench on the set of Labyrinth. When he returned to Australia, the days of big-budget miniseries had ended and he enrolled in the bachelor of education in media studies at Melbourne's Rusden College (now Deakin University) while making corporate training videos to pay the bills.

By the early 1990s Mr Giles was teaching new-media tutorials at Deakin while completing a master of arts focusing on cultural and ethical dilemmas facing society as it moved into the digital information age...

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