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Obama: Let's give more kids the opportunity to make games

atxryanatxryan Posts: 117Member, Microsoft Team
"And there are a whole bunch of young people out there I suspect who, if in high school are given the opportunity to figure out 'here's how you can design your own games', but it requires you to know math, and it requires you to know science, or 'here's what a career in graphic design looks like' - we're going to start setting those programs in our high schools, not waiting to go to community college."
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/186830/Obama_Lets_give_more_kids_the_opportunity_to_make_games.php#.USKRIaLnbIX

I'm digging this trend of politicians and educators realizing the benefits of making basic programming skills (logic, conditional statements, stepping through a problem) a part of the core education experience.

What are your thoughts? More importantly, are schools in your area offering this type of curriculum?

Comments

  • ChakkuChakku Posts: 1,513Member
    @atxyran

    Yeah, I agree. Some kids may really like this, and could be a change in career choice for them!

    Chakku
  • HoneyTribeStudiosHoneyTribeStudios Posts: 1,792Member
    I heard about something called Code Club in London. A volunteer effort which gives kids an opportunity to experience coding for the first time.

    That's the kind of thing Google/Microsoft/Apple could be sponsoring. In related news Google donated loads of Raspberry Pi computers to UK schools recently so that's pretty cool.

    Great to see large corporations putting something into public education. More of that please!

    Give me a buzz if you need some original music in your games.

  • RPRP Posts: 1,990Member
    If they started offering creative computing early on, it would do wonders to promote interest in learning of other topics in regular education curriculum. Sometimes its about connecting the dots and seeing the relevance in order to garner interest. I'm all for it.
  • atxryanatxryan Posts: 117Member, Microsoft Team
    Just saw this today: "Code.org is a non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education."

    http://www.code.org/

    It has a lot of backers. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with. When I talk with classroom educators, they say they're interested in bringing coding curriculum to their students, but they don't have the budget or training. Could the private sector assist here?
  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,696Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef
    I teach game design using Game Salad as an elective (7th & 8th grade) and an afterschool class (4th-6th grade) and I am working to develop teacher materials so that more people can do the same.

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  • atxryanatxryan Posts: 117Member, Microsoft Team
    That's awesome, @tatiang. Do you mind if I ask where you teach? I know there's a teacher near me in Pflugerville, TX doing a high school gaming course. Not sure about other teachers in my area.
  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,696Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef
    @atxryan I teach near San Francisco.

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  • PixelMetalPixelMetal Posts: 283Member
    edited February 2013
    I taught a couple semesters of GameMaker (the old one) and 3D Game Studio (Unity before there was Unity) at a local college, and when I was an adjunct teaching MAX/AE/Flash/Illustration at a bigger university always encouraged students to do game projects. So many people (of the generation I was teaching, at least) have games totally integrated into their lives, and it wasn't odd to find a classroom full of kids at the computer lab at 4am working on their own game projects - or playing Deathmatch :). A huge chunk of the faculty was also very much into games of one type or another.

    Game design & development, or even playing them, is a good way to teach critical thinking skills and to break larger problems down into smaller, more manageable and more easily attainable goals. Every school should have a games program, whether it's video games, board games, cards game, etc.

    Games make you SMRT!
  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    edited February 2013
    atxryan said:

    What are your thoughts? More importantly, are schools in your area offering this type of curriculum?

    Wow, that makes me happy. Too often, politicians bash on video games. It's nice to see that Obama got this right. I feel that I'm more successful because of what I learned through video games. He's also right about the importance of creating content - not just consuming it.

    There's a part in my GameSalad textbook where I mention this issue. It's at the beginning of the math chapter. Back in high school, I was losing interest in Math class. The teacher noticed that I was doodling instead of listening to what she was teaching. So I asked her, "When am I ever going to use this stuff?"

    This was before the days of the App Store, so it was difficult to make math more sexy. Today, I think GameSalad is an excellent tool for teaching student things like cos/sin, the Pythagorean Theorem and modulo. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to teach a GameSalad class personally, but it seems that my book has been used in classrooms around the globe. I think that's awesome.
  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,696Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef
    edited February 2013
    @Photics If you want to see the positive effects of doodling, check out Vi Hart:

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  • HoneyTribeStudiosHoneyTribeStudios Posts: 1,792Member

    Give me a buzz if you need some original music in your games.

This discussion has been closed.