Young people learn how to create video games

August 22, 2013

From “Young people learn how to create arcade games” — Rhinelander – Video games are sounds most parents don’t want to hear during the summer time.

What they might not know is these kids are learning to create arcade games.

“It’s a lot more complicated that people give it credit for. In fact building videos games is probably one of the most complicated areas of computer science,” said Computer Programming Instructor, Ethan Blue.

“So starting to develop these skills in a kid friendly way with the software we’re using really helps them to develop critical thinking, reasoning, using resources, things like that.” Young people in this class are between the ages 10 and 13 years old.

At Nicolet College they learn how to control characters, objects and create backgrounds for four days.

Instructor Ethan Blue said he didn’t want the first day of class to be boring.

“Kids tend to get sort of bored when you just talk about the idea behind logic and things like that. They want to play,” Blue said.

“So we start them making games right away. They start putting graphics in. It starts off simple and as things progress through the four-day camp, things get more complicated as they go.”

Making the video games sounds pretty cool, but there’s a lot of mathematics involved.

“You have to pretty much know like the X and Y axis’s and negative and positive numbers,” said 12 year old, Sebastian Wittig.

“If you screw it up, the game won’t work right. You’ll go through walls.”

After the program is over, an aspiring game designer says he might have his family try out his new game.

“I think my personalized game is pretty good. When the class is over I’ll try to make my brothers play it.” 10 year old, Keagan Brown said.

One message Blue wants parents to know about this program is kids will be kids.

“Just encourage your kids to be kids and to play and that’s really how you learn. That’s how I developed a love for learning and how I became an instructor at a college,” Blue said.

“So don’t just throw away video games just because they’re games. You can get a lot out of them too.”


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