Niagara Gazette


May 12, 2014

Game on for student designers at local library


Niagara Gazette — After a quick tutorial, most of the students in the class had a firm grasp of Scratch’s basics. One boy experimenting adding as many animal characters as possible, while another made his cat race around the screen.

Wilson also demonstrated how to create a simple game by giving a character a task and controlling it manually.

“This is the basic set of skills you’ll need before you can design anything more sophisticated, he explained while making the cat chase a randomly moving key.

Danielle Burns, a graduate student at UB studying for her library science master’s degree, said that the inspiration to hold the workshop came from a need to show the many aspects of libraries.

“I thought it would be a cool workshop to incorporate into the library because there’s a big stigma about them, that it’s all just scholarly reading,” Burns, a librarian trainee at the Niagara Falls Public Library said. “But there’s so much that we offer here, and hopefully this will also help get them interested in possibly studying game design.”

Understanding how video games work is essential to people who play them, Wilson said.

“Anyone who teaches English could tell you that reading and writing are complementary,” Wilson said. “If you’re playing video games, having at least an elementary understanding of how they work will help bridge that literacy gap.” 

Contact reporter Kaley Lynch at 439-9222 ext. 6245 or tweet to @Lynchie17

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