Kids make games, win prizes!

Posted on May 4, 2015

Do you know a kid who loves video games and is handy with a computer? Have you ever considered that they could not only make their own video games, but also win prizes doing so? Well there is a huge opportunity on the horizon for them.

Click to visit the website

Click to visit the website

Recently the Australian Council for Educational Research announced that registrations have opened for the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge, which I first heard about at PAX Aus and have had the pleasure of becoming more involved with. In short, kids from years 5-12 register in a number of categories (as individuals or teams) and use any of the widely-available free platforms to make their own game that educates players about some aspect of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

A valid entry consists of a full playable game and a Game Design Document, and there is lots of support to help get projects off the ground. The potential for schools and teachers to become involved and tie projects in with Science classes or a Research Project is huge. There is the chance to win great prizes within the national challenge which will also be awarded at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo Australia.

Game Truck Australia is super-keen to support the Challenge, because it shows the amazing learning potential that is in video games, which can lead to real educational and employability outcomes. One thing I know that developers always ask for when hiring is a completed game, and having one before you even finish school puts you way ahead of the game. See what one of last year’s winners is up to now, or browse the 2014 winners.

All this is an important example of the positive potential of video games, something that I am really passionate about. Therefore I’m really happy to announce two extra prizes for Adelaide-based entrants* into the Challenge:

  • Most Active School award: this prize will go to the School that has the largest number of entrants into the Challenge per capita. The prize will be a three-hour Minecraft workshop/gaming event at the school, during holidays or after school hours;
  • Best Advanced Group entry: this prize will go to the group that wins the Advanced Category (Group) Award, and will consist of a two-hour Game Truck party at the home of one of the team members.

So what are you waiting for? Visit the STEMgames website, join the mailing list, follow the Challenge on Twitter; form a team or choose an individual project and register to get involved! Parents, schools, teachers or other interested parties can email ACER for more information. Queries regarding the Game Truck Australia partnership can email Chad directly.

I can’t wait to run a Game Truck party for the winning school and team!

*Prizes will only be delivered to within Metropolitan Adelaide due to travel restrictions with the Game Truck; apologies for any disappointment.

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