New street video games


New Zealand’s first gi­ant out­door ar­cade gam­ing sys­tem has new stu­dent-de­vel­oped games to play, just in time for school hol­i­days.

The Su­per Street Ar­cade in cen­tral Christchurch launched eight new stu­dent-de­vel­oped games on Wed­nes­day, which the pub­lic can play.

City stu­dents spent the school year de­vel­op­ing the video games for the Gap Filler project, which orig­i­nally opened on the cor­ner of Tuam and High streets in De­cem­ber 2016.

A five-me­tre screen mounted on the Voda­fone build­ing will screen the free games.

They are played on an over­sized joy­stick with two large pedal but­tons on the other side of the road.

In­spired by the laser-kiwi New Zealand flag de­sign, year 12 Pa­panui High School stu­dents Tom En­right and Joe Har­vey, both 16, said their game, The Last Kiwi, was a labour of love.

‘‘It’s a theme of the kiwi fight­ing back against the ex­tinc­tion of it­self,’’ En­right said.

The player nav­i­gates ’’the last kiwi’’ through the for­est at night, avoid­ing at­tacks from its nat­u­ral preda­tors pos­sums and cats.

‘‘There’s a lot of work that’s been done on this, so it’s good to see it come to fruition,’’ he said. En­right worked on the game de­vel­op­ment and said he ‘‘just stuck arms around what Joe [Har­vey] made.’’

‘‘It’s great see­ing my art on show,’’ Har­vey said.

Ex­perts helped teams of se­nior stu­dents from Burn­side, Lincoln and Pa­panui high schools de­velop the games.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion sup­ported Gap Filler’s pro­posal.

‘‘What a cool ex­pe­ri­ence for the stu­dents to take a con­cept and de­velop it,’’ said Gap Filler’s learn­ing fa­cil­i­ta­tor Sally Airey.

‘‘[They] cre­ated a game that they can see be­ing played on the street by strangers.

‘‘Along with the cred­its they have earned to­wards NCEA, they have also cre­ated a fun ex­pe­ri­ence for the peo­ple of Christchurch,’’ Gap Filler’s learn­ing fa­cil­i­ta­tor Sally Airey said.

The stu­dents tested their games on an on­line plat­form de­vel­oped by Burn­side High School stu­dent Ben Hol­lows,

‘‘What a cool ex­pe­ri­ence for the stu­dents...’’

which al­lowed peo­ple to give the stu­dent game de­vel­op­ers on­line feed­back.

The Su­per Street Ar­cade, played nearly 125,000 times since it opened. It also has games in­clud­ing At­tack of the Cones and Space Raiders.


Pa­panui High School stu­dents Tom En­right and Joe Har­vey, both 16, with their Su­per Street Ar­cade game The Last Kiwi.

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