Starting September 17, teens in grades 7 through 12 can submit their video game designs to the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Today, however, we’re celebrating Video Game Day! Alliance staffer and avid gamer Scott Larner shares his thoughts on the importance of gaming in the following post. We hope it inspires you to submit your game!

On my sixth birthday a heavy thud on my bed woke me.  My dad was standing in my room smiling and a brand new, unopened Nintendo rested by my feet. I spent the day shooting ducks and jumping on mushrooms, and I have been playing and enjoying video games ever since.

Video Games have had a long, strange journey to prominence in our culture. Once upon a time, the common conception of a video game player was a lonely dude sitting in a dark room by himself; these days it impossible to take a fifteen-minute subway ride without seeing a kid playing a racing game on his PSP, a businessman tending to a virtual farm on his iPad, and a young lady playing word games with friends on a smart phone. Video games have become a ubiquitous and integral part of our lives, and as they continue to grow in popularity, we continue to expand what we expect of the media and how we use it in our lives.

It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with my colleagues at The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to expand the role of our Video Game Design category over the last three years. The talent and creativity that we find in students creating games is astounding. Read More