"Speed Demon," Charles Roushey. Grade 7, Age 12. Gold Medal, AMD Game Changer Award, Video Game Design.

From Guest Blogger John Kollmer, Video Game Extraordinaire

Gone are the days when video games were merely a form of entertainment and a bane to every parent’s attempt to get their kid to do their homework. Today, students of all ages can apply their love of gaming to prepare for 21st century careers. You can explore climate patterns and outer space; learn about the government and international relations; and even propose plans for saving the planet’s expendable resources – all through video games.

Video games are a constantly evolving medium. Each new generation of gaming consoles and video processors brings more realistic graphics and physics that mimic the real world. Beyond the fun of the finished product, a tremendous amount of work goes into developing a game, and huge teams of people have a hand in creating the best-selling titles that we see on store shelves and in TV commercials. Every production team is made up of creative writers and story editors; programmers and modelers who shape the world; and artists and designers to put it all together and bring it to life. Video games are at the apex of collaborative work and hold a unique place in the world because, at their core, they blend the very best of art and science.

Here at the Alliance, we encourage you to try your hand at making you own games and submitting them to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Our recently added category for video game design offers a great opportunity for to explore the many tools available for making games. Check out Eline’s Ludo Dojo for some inspiration!

Not only could your original video game designs possibly win you coveted awards and scholarships from the Alliance, they might also help you win the science fair this year! Our friends at Science Buddies offer plenty of video and computer game projects to get you started, as well as future career ideas should the idea of being a prominent innovator appeal to you!

Games may always be a welcome distraction from homework, but exceedingly they offer a chance to learn by doing and explore in ways that ignite passion and excitement. If we jump at these opportunities, they’ll continue to open academic doors for the future generations.

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