In partnership with AMD, BGCC ran a pilot of the GameTech program, which was developed by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. GameTech is a two-unit program using principles of active learning to teach children and youth how to develop computer games. The curriculum is designed to expose Club members to a number of important skill sets – systems thinking, introductory programming concepts, principles of game design and the process of iterative design.
Funds were used to provide program support to Clubs (training, support provided by BGCC/BGCA), funding Clubs to pilot the program (funding for staffing, materials, equipment, etc.), as well as the purchase and provision of technology centre equipment at both sites.
Below are a few testimonials from members who experienced the GameTech program first hand!
“Mark” is high school student who has played video games for many years but had never taken the time to understand what happens behind the scenes of game development. He initially felt that the program was going to be boring as he had played multi-level, multi-layered 3D games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. However, as the program entered its second week he realized the complexity of video game development. By the completion of week four “Mark” was engaged in the program and he had an opportunity to import characters in his game development. He was also inspired by reviewing games developed by other youth (from Clubs in the States) who had previously completed the GameTech program. - Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough
“The AMD/GameTech program is very popular at our TP Loblaw (St. Mary’s) location. Two of our members in particular absolutely love the program. Nicholas, age 9 and Aiden, age 9. These two boys spend extra time drawing and re-drawing their characters for their games that they are developing. They are always asking for extra time in the lab to work on their games. Because of their enthusiasm, we plan on offering the program one more day/week for our members who want to do extra work on their games. - Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubs
As both sites now have the equipment and training to be able to deliver the GameTech program, both will continue to offer the program to expanding numbers of participants in future years. One site is leveraging a community volunteer to take the program a step further with older youth to include the design/development of their own characters. Another is planning future ‘game-off’ competitions, to which AMD employees will be invited, to showcase what they have learned!