Summer Camp for Gamers: The Game Experience, Part 1 — A Holistic Approach

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Are your kids into videogames, and do they want to learn more about making them? Then The Game Experience may be the perfect summer camp for them. All this week, we’ll be exploring different aspects of the amazing summer video game development immersion program offered by our sponsor, Experience America.

A Holistic Approach

The Game Experience kicks the old summer camp up a level or three. Held on the University of Washington campus, this three week long camp reads more like a professional conference than Camp Crystal Lake.

I’ve been to a few tech conferences, and gaming workshops, but none of them covered the breadth of information that The Game Experience does. This camp takes the time to teach the students every aspect of game development. Topics covered include animation, art, programming, design, sound, and business management. Lectures, classes, and hands-on workshops are lead by industry professionals with a student to instructor ratio of just fourteen to one.

In the first couple of sessions the students will explore the stages of game development and pick a project and a singleĀ of the stages to focus on. Students may work in teams, learning how to utilize each other’s strengths, or they can work solo. The instructional team will sit down with everyone to discuss their projects and provide guidance along the way. All skill levels are are accommodated with pre-rendered scenes provided for the novice developers. More advanced students may choose to design and model their own game environments. From the Game Experience materials:

Ten months out of the year students are in an environment where they are told what to do by their high school teachers and administrators in a hierarchal structure. This structure is clearly effective and necessary for regular and long term study. We take a different approach while they are on our shorter study trips; we provide a flatter structure to change the student-supervisor relationship.

All of our programs are designed with the student’s best experience in mind, including their age group, career and personal interests, and what we think will allow them to have the best time possible. We [work] to provide an all-sensory cultural experience. For example, students will go on a food tour of Pike Place market, visit some of our best lakes and parks, see local art at museums/exhibits and do the most exciting activities in the city. This not only provides the best experience but also facilitates faster relationship building.

You can find out more about The Game Experience in the video below, or visit them at their website: The Game Experience.

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