Parents usually try to get their kids to spend more time outdoors during the summer, but this summer one group of students is actually encouraged to stay indoors and play video games.
Sixteen Washoe County students are spending this week learning not just how to play video games, but how to design them. It is part of the district's Community Education program, and for once, the students have no complaints about summer school.
"I like designing things and drawing," game design student Jake Christensen said, "so I thought this would be fun, to make my own games."
"I always have had that creative part in my life," game design student TJ Wright said, "drawing and designing things, so this class was the first opportunity for me to get into game design."
The students in the video game design class will spend the week learning how to build a game from the beginning, designing the background, story, characters, music, and difficulty level, and then testing them on each other.
The kids say it is really an opportunity to use their imaginations. They showed off their most recent creations: a video game that makes the player do tasks to achieve knighthood, and one featuring an astronaut who overslept on the day of his launch, and has to race the clock to get on the space shuttle in time.
On Thursday the class hosted guest lecturer Ryan Cullins from local design company 3G Studios. He said if the kids like the taste of game design that they're getting in this class, then they could really have a future in the industry.
"This is an industry that's booming, but there's not many people helping to achieve the level of education involved in making something like this happen," Cullins said. "The fact that this is happening right here in Reno is really, really cool."
The Community Education program continues through the summer with a wide range of classes in subjects like acting, volleyball, art, and cooking. To take a look at the available classes, click here.
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