Game Making: Have fun while you learn

Education, Fun, Creativity.

Are these three ideas at odds, do they fight each other, or, can they dynamically co-exist in a way to satisfy both teachers and students?

Game Making combines the diversity of multimedia with the rigour and fascination of programming, wrapped in a package that many young people find exciting, fun, motivating and relevant.

Game Maker can sit at the junction between “kids culture” and “educational culture” offering new pathways and motivation to both students and teachers.

This might take the form of game design, multimedia development, curriculum innovation, programming skills or teamwork in an established worldwide community.

At Woodville High School we have developed a course in Game Making as part of the Stage 2 Design and Technology (HESS Restricted) curriculum.

The GameMaker interface is good from the programming perspective because it has both a visual click, drag and drop interface as well as the ability to program using text only.

Game Making is a great vehicle for multi-media as well. Animations and background music are a very important component of games.

The GameMaker software was developed by Prof Dr Mark H. Overmars from Utrecht University in The Netherlands. Professor Overmars actually teaches a course in Game Making at his University. You are expected to pay a small registration fee even though it is still legal to run unregistered copies.

When you visit Mark Overmars website you'll be able to download his Game Maker software and find lots of sample games.

In my observation students are more engaged in class than normally and they show a great deal of interest in each others games, are keen to swap ideas and help each other solve problems. Also, much more work than normal is occurring outside of lesson times.