COMPUTER games have long been held up as the prime example of children wasting time but a project in Birmingham has been showing how youngsters can learn from them.
Children at Reaside Junior School, in Rubery, have created their own computer game which can now be played by people anywhere they can access the right equipment.
Starting just after Christmas, a group of children were picked to take part in the project in which they watched excerpts from the play, met its director Peter Wynn-Willson and worked weekly with Steve Hands of the computer education group LearnPlay Foundation.
Steve says the project is ground-breaking.
“It shows how computer games can be used in classrooms for education purposes and that is something very new. Now the game is created, tens of thousands of people in the online community all round the world will be able to play it,” he says.
Steve worked closely with the children. Initially they saw the beginning of the play Looking for Yoghurt, in which three children become friends despite speaking different languages, and then used those ideas to create characters and levels for their game.
“It was a real process of creativity,” he says. “They were creating puzzles, dangerous situations and thinking of ways for the characters to get out of them.
“They would draw their ideas and we would look at how we could then create their concepts and ideas in the game. They had the design leads and we would add music and animation.”
And Reaside Junior School teacher Sarah Hugill says the children learned a good deal more than simply creating a computer game.
“They all came together on this project and saw it start as drawings on a piece of paper which were then transformed until they became part of the game,” she says.
* In order to play World of Yoghurt, you need – PlayStation 3; Little Big Planet game; internet connection. For more information see the www.learnplayfoundation.com website.
Via Birmingham Mail