Game Development & STEM Education

When your kid play video games, have he or she ever wondered how a game works or how it can be improved? Video game lovers nowadays are not just limited to playing it for fun. With plentiful resources available online, many of them also modify the games they love in order to patch existing glitches, improve game mechanism or change the game elements as their own will. But since some Game Developers (e.g. Nintendo) never release the game codes to the public, sometimes game lovers even have to rebuild the whole games to make changes, that requires intensive game development skills and knowledge.

The trend of game development (or redevelopment) encourages kids and teenagers who are passionate about video games to make their own one. It’s definitely a good opportunity for them to learn practical skills.

How does Game Development benefit my kids?

The game development process involves various kind of skills related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). So in these days Game Development is not just being considered as a hobby but has also officially become parts of STEM education for kids and teenagers. Generally speaking, learning Game Development is beneficial to children in the following ways:

1. Able to learn various tools & game design software

To successfully make a video game, students must learn using game design software (such as Unity, GameMaker, Construct etc.) and writing programming languages (like C#, Javascript, Python). Among the numerous game design software, Unity is by far the most popular one for making mobile games, as 34% of the top free mobile games in the market were made with it. For this reason, many coding courses at the intermediate/advanced level are focusing more on teaching Unity.

 

2. The great potential of video game industry

The video game industry, especially mobile games, is fast expanding because of the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets. The mobile game’s technology still has much room to develop, and the industry is in need of cutting-edge talents. Kids with game design skills will have the privilege to enter this forward-thinking industry.

Besides, gaming technology is not just applicable to making video games. Many other industries are also looking for game design talents to “gamify” their business. One of the examples is the Architecture industry – they are using Game Engines to create interactive 3D walkthroughs of an architect’s design before it’s put into production.

3. Skills are transferable to other professions

As mentioned, Game Development involves plenty of STEM skills. The skills required include programming, mathematics, physics, 3D Modeling etc. kids with game development background would definitely have more application knowledge of  Science and Technology, and these knowledge is also transferable to many other industries, which gives them a better prospect in future education as well as job hunting.

Is Game Development too difficult for my kids?

Now we all know that game development carries a big value for kids’ development. But some parents may ask, “is Game Development too complicated for young children to learn?” There are actually some Game Development courses designed for kids/teenagers age 4 to 18 years, ranging from beginners to advanced levels. Kids at a younger age or with no prior knowledge will start with the course for beginners, in which they mostly learn to make 2D games with simpler software like Scratch, Roblox, and Minecraft. The intermediate/ advanced courses will focus more on teaching Unity engine and 3D modeling.

If your kid is a video games lover, a Game Development course would be a good starting point to transfer his/her interest in games into practical programming skills. If you want to know more, please visit First Code Academy to learn more about our courses and classes!

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