Creating games creators- Ian Livingstone #mspiluk2011

“We leach our children to read in ICT, but not to write”

Starting with a trip down memory lane showing how games had developed from Games Workshop and multi choice books, to the immersive 3D worlds and social spaces such as Famiville, Ian Livingstone showed the huge impact that the games industry has on our lives, yet he said some people see games as a ‘fluffy‘ career option without serious prospects.

Those who made the groundbreaking cultural works that many of these games were did not leam how to do it in school. So why should children today be taught the techniques of game creation? Gaming is now a $50 billion industry, bigger than books, music and cinema, yet Ian argued that our education system is not creating the people we need to sustain this.

We need to bring up people who can make the most of the huge opportunities this industry now offers, but Ian argued that we are not investing enough in teaching them the skills they need to be able to do this.

NESTA asked Ian and Alex Hope to write the ‘Next Gen‘ report looking at how the UK could be world’s leading talent hub for video games and visual effects‘. Their number one recommendation? Make computer science an ‘essential discipline‘ in the National Curriculum. By making it a part of the curriculum can we begin to teach our young people to move beyond merely reading using technology and empower them to get writing, or will formalising this powerful informal leaming stifle it?

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