Updated 05/08/2012 05:00 AM
Tech Beat: Design lab has students entering world of game craft
Some local kids are learning valuable lessons and exploring potential career paths by learning how to make video games. YNN's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Teens playing video games is certainly not that out of the ordinary. Teens designing their own video games though has become an almost sure-fire way to get them to study and appreciate subjects many might otherwise consider boring, too hard, or just not up their alley.
At the recent week-long Game Design Lab run by the Museum of the Moving Image and the Institute of Play, students had to use math, computer programming, engineering - not to mention a whole bunch of critical thinking skills - all to create a rudimentary video game with one purpose: It's fun to play.
"It's really a chance for them to think big picture about what makes a game a game, what makes a game fun, and to work with digital tools: iPads, computers, sensor boards. One of the things we're trying to do is get these kids to think about games and about how games work and how games work as systems," said Chris Wisniewski of the Museum of the Moving Image.
But what makes this program a bit different from similar ones that teach video game design to students is that it isn't just about software. There's also a little bit of hardware in there, and the students are making their own video game controllers too.
Additionally, students - even those not necessarily interested in pursuing a career in video games - seem to agree at the very least that they now have a greater appreciation of the work that went into creating some of the more mainstream games they play at home.
"I never thought I would make an actual controller because now we play the Xbox and stuff and it's like oh this is cool but making one? Yeah, no idea," said Ninth Grader Noor Ismail.
"I really didn't know the thought process of making games there's posters up on the different parts of creating a game I didn't really understand how I could analyze different games to create my own," said Tenth Grader Ameer Ross.
Again, there are all sorts of camps, particularly during the summer, that introduce teens to video game design.
To find out more about some of those and other happenings in your area for students that highlight science, technology, engineering and math, check out our parent company Time Warner Cable's site www.ConnectAMillionMinds.com.