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MDS hosts second successful Girls in Games workshop

Media Design School, Auckland, 3 December 2014: Monday December 1st saw Media Design School host 45 secondary school girls, who traveled to Media Design School’s central Auckland campus from as far north as Whangarei and as far south as Wellington Girl’s High School in Wellington, for the second annual Girls in Games.

Girls in Games is best described as an immersive one-day workshop that covers the basics of Game Development, Game Art, and Game Design. It is also an event that gives girls aged 14-18 the opportunity to network with other female students from across the country who share similar interests to them.

Over the course of the day the girls were introduced to GameMaker, a programme that allows its users to create awesome cross-platform games, and were given tips and tricks of the trade by Media Design School’s Game Art and Game Programming expert faculty.

Sarah, 14, from Whangarei Girls High was initially attracted to the event because of her love of animation and gaming. After seeing what a friend of hers had produced at last years Girls in Games Workshop, she decided that she’d like to learn more about what it takes to create a game.

“It made me think ‘Hey, I want to do that as well’ because it looks really interesting and you could actually end up making money out of it in the future,” says Sarah.

Sarah said that her highlight of the day was learning to “…make my own game at the end and being able to learn how to do basic animation,” adding that it was a “really, really fun” experience.

Fifteen year olds Archama and Charina, from Marist College in Mount Albert, Auckland, found the event both challenging and enjoyable. Archama says that the event initially piqued her interest because she was “curious about programming” but mainly because art is her hobby and she thought she’d investigate the ways in which she could potentially turn her hobby into a career or something more lucurative in the future.

Charina’s favourite part of the day was meeting likeminded young women who were passionate about gaming: “ It was really cool because me being an awkward person and all, I was scared about talking to different people at the beginning, but then when I talked to the other people here it was awesome.”

Charina was initially worried that her lack of knowledge about how to make games would put her at a disadvantage but she was relieved when she realised that the 44 other people at Girls in Games were just as new to the world of creating games as she was!

“Being in a room full of very proud nerds and geeks, I met so many people who were interested in the same things as me. It was amazing.”

For Rebecca, Tiffany, and Sophia, all aged 14, Girls in Games wasn’t the first time that they’d had the opportunity to visit Media Design School.

“We’d all been here before because we’re all interested in video games. Tiffany and Sophia like art and I’m interested in programming, so we ended up finding Media Design School online and we came on the Open Day and ever since we’ve just been looking out for any events at Media Design School,” says Rebecca.

The girls all enjoyed being able to work as a team, using each other’s strengths in programming and art to come up with their own unique concepts.

Media Design School would like to thank all of the staff and secondary school students who were involved with Girls in Games 2014.

Media Design School is New Zealand’s most-awarded private tertiary institution and distinguished by its close alignment to industry. The Auckland-based school offers specialist degrees for emerging creative industries including Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects), Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art), Bachelor of Software Engineering (Game Programming) and Bachelor of Media Design. A range of foundation diplomas and graduate qualifications are also available. Media Design School is part of Laureate International Universities, the world’s largest private university group with over 70 institutions in 29 countries, including dedicated design schools in San Diego, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA; Berlin and Hamburg, Germany; and Milan, Italy. For more information, visit www.mediadesignschool.com

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