Children and Video Game Design

Parents and caregivers, well aware of the dominance of video games and other multi-media entertainment in the lives of their children, may be somewhat assured to know that there are ways that a child’s interest in video games can actually benefit them in ways other than as a means to kill time, among other non-digital concepts.

Video game design, long thought to be a career choice for the game-addicted child who graduates high school and wants to continue to play video games, has actually moved into the arena of children, giving them more control over the games they play as well as encouraging creativity, storytelling, computer programming, graphic design and many other skills that are needed in order to produce a compelling and memorable video game. Since the market for video games has begun to include younger children, giving them the ability to create their own games may actually benefit them, to an extent, by encouraging the various skills required in video game design.

Video game design requires creativity, and while the complex programming skills required may be hard for children to master, companies like Microsoft have begun to introduce programs that help children create their own video games. There are also companies that offer video game design classes for children, using built-in tools that come with video games for adults such as Crysis. These classes may encourage the creativity in children and help them generate virtual worlds in which their own characters “quest” for items that they create. Some of these classes focus on the graphic design and programming required in video game design, while others may give more specialized training in sound effects, storyboards or other video game production aspects.

Some summer camps also specialize in the team-building work required in video game design and production. Many camps that run for one or two weeks may require that children participate in all aspects of the video game production, each taking a turn at what is needed in order to produce a video game.

One of the benefits to video game design for children is that it can encourage their creativity, team-building and even mathematical and programming concepts. By keeping children interested, it is possible to help them grow and learn while having fun, giving them incentive to continue learning through play, design and their own love of video games.

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