Chal­lenge more than just fun and games

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - David Charlesworth

Aus­tralind Se­nior High School Year 12 stu­dent Kyle Do­rant and Year 8 stu­dent Jax­son Brown com­pare their orig­i­nal video games which earned both of them recog­ni­tion at the Aus­tralian STEM Video Game Chal­lenge. Kyle and Jax­son were up against more than 1300 stu­dents Aus­tralia-wide with the awards pre­sented in Mel­bourne last month.

AUS­TRALIND Se­nior High School stu­dents Jax­son Brown, Year 8, and Kyle Du­rant, Year 12, en­joyed suc­cess last month in the Aus­tralian STEM Video Game Chal­lenge.

Jax­son won first prize in the Year 5 to 8 Playable Game de­vel­oped in the Gamemaker cat­e­gory while Kyle made it into the top five in the Year 9 to 12 cat­e­gory of the same sec­tion.

In­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy teacher Bren­dan Pe­draz­zoli said the com­pe­ti­tion was an ini­tia­tive to get more stu­dents in­ter­ested in science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths.

“The boys both en­tered in the Gamemaker’s sec­tion which for Jax­son’s year group was the most ad­vanced sec­tion,” he said.

Jax­son’s game is a 2D plat­form game sim­i­lar to Nin­tento’s Mario fran­chise while Kyle’s was a driv­ing game where a car has to avoid ran­dom and in­creas­ing ob­sta­cles – both games fit­ting the com­pe­ti­tion’s theme of “re­ac­tion”.

Jax­son and Kyle de­signed and built work­ing and playable orig­i­nal video games which went through three phases of judg­ing to make it into the fi­nal six.

Jax­son flew to Mel­bourne to at­tend the awards cer­e­mony on Oc­to­ber 28 and met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Academy of In­ter­ac­tive Entertainment, HP Aus­tralia, BigAnt Stu­dios and Google.

Jax­son’s prize was a Sam­sung Tablet and a three-day pass to at­tend the PAX gam­ing con­ven­tion in Mel­bourne.

Jax­son said since he first learnt to de­sign games in class at the start of last year he had en­thu­si­as­ti­cally taken it up out­side the class­room as well.

“I def­i­nitely want to get a ca­reer in game mak­ing, that would be amaz­ing,” he said.

“I def­i­nitely want to keep do­ing it, I won’t stop.”

Pic­ture: Jon Gell­weiler

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