Why do you want to make games? If you’ve made a game, what was fun about it? What did you learn? What was hard? Recently, a dozen game designers in grades 5-8 got to answer those questions … to a national audience.
This video makes me grin from ear to ear. These game designers are just awesome. They worked hard, tackling some complex designs, and they did well. They each found a fun system, and figured out how to put it at the heart of a game. They worked with a bunch of different tools. They worked with friends and family to test their games over and over and fixed and patched them. (My favorite moment of the video is when one designer introduces his cousins as his “user testing group”. Yes, yes they are! Good choice!) And finally, their work was judged by a panel of judges that included game industry professionals and academics and chosen as winners.
If you are going into grades 5-8, you could be one of them next year. The National STEM Challenge is over for 2010, but this was just the first year, so watch http://www.stemchallenge.org for news and think about what you will enter!
While you’re waiting, you can play some of the winning games. Only some are available to play online because of the tools used to build them, but we can link to a few: