Month: September 2013

USA Today: Video Games Inspire Learning

A high-profile bid to encourage kids to think scientifically and cultivate a love for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or so-called STEM subjects, has found an unusual means to that end: video games.

Announced in 2010 by President Obama as part of his “Educate to Innovate” initiative, the National STEM Video Game Challenge has introduced thousands of middle- and high-schoolers to game design over the past three years— this year alone, more than 5,000 students from 40 states enrolled. It’ll soon see its first games debut on Apple’s App store.

Read more on USA Today –>

Justin Richards: Training the Next Generation of Game Development Leadership

September 24, 2013 — Durham, NC — Justin Richards, Youth Digital’s founder and CEO, will be speaking on game development and leadership at next month’s Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Expo (SIEGE) conference.

SIEGE is hosted by the Georgia Game Developers Association, and will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 3 ­ 6, 2013. Justin’s talk on “Training the Next Generation of Game Development Leadership” will be a part of the International Game Developer Association (IGDA) Leadership track at the conferences.

Justin Richards is the founder and CEO of Youth Digital, where he works to introduce aspiring designers and developers, to the skills and processes they’ll need to create their own games and apps. Youth Digital students, aged eight through sixteen, learn app and game development, as they take their projects from idea to completion.

“The IGDA Leadership track at SIEGE is a great opportunity to share what we’ve learned about teaching the next generation of digital innovators,” says Justin Richards. “Instead of letting aspiring developers scour forums and watch vague tutorials, we’ve found a way to channel students’ love of games and natural curiosity in order to teach game development. Now we have eight ­year­ olds with games on the App Store.”

When students learn development tools and processes from professionals, and are encouraged to tinker and explore, they’re able to create innovative games and apps. Richards remembers struggling to follow his interests in tech and game development as he was growing up. He found very few resources available, especially ones that would be accessible to children, although he knew that learning game development could be an exciting process. This experience stuck with him, and Richards opened Youth Digital as a way for children and teenagers to channel their creativity into technological skills and innovative games.

Youth Digital is based in Durham, North Carolina, and provides classes both onsite and online at Interested students ages eight and up can learn to create their own apps, design their own games, and learn valuable tech skills from anywhere in the world through the online lessons. Over two thousand aspiring developers have already enrolled in Youth Digital’s classes.

About Youth Digital
Youth Digital was founded in 2010 by Justin Richards, to educate and encourage the next generation of tech innovators through app and game design classes for students eight and up. Youth Digital is based in Durham, North Carolina, and online at Youth Today, students from around the world are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online classes in game development and app design.