Judy Robertson is the third author in our Guest Blogger series. She’s a lecturer in computer science at Heriot-Watt University, and is Principal investigator on the EPSRC funded Adventure Author project. Since 2003 she has lead many game making workshops for children at the Edinburgh International Science Festival and for Edinburgh City Council. She’s got a few things to say about kids and games.
We have just finished an eight week project where a class of thirty 10 year olds made their own computer games as part of their normal ICT lessons. At the end of the project we asked the children to tell us about their experiences. Euan said “It was the best thing I’ve done.”; Jack noted “It was an opportunity. Not everyone gets to do this”; and Nadine, who normally struggles a bit with school said “It was so cool. I love it!” Her teacher was surprised at how capable Nadine was at making her game, and also how good she was at helping the other pupils. The project allowed Nadine to shine, and for others to see her in a new light.
But why is it the best thing that Euan has done in his (albeit short) life? And why doesn’t everyone get to do it? I’ve decided to go all evangelical and declare that making games should be for everyone. What’s more, it should be a regular part of normal classes in school. Not everyone can be a professional games developer of course, but everyone can learn from making a game, however humble.