As the High School Senior Class of ’13, it is you who will build a path to the next generation of gaming. Already, the ideas in your head will be for games that no one can conceive of in this day and age. You will build a new path of the new games and amazing stories yet to come.
And right now, you’re probably being hit by senioritis so hard that you barely have the energy to make it through this paragraph. Fear not. We have the tips you need to make it out of high school and into the video game college program you want to be in. We even have a couple of words from MassDigi, the people who will be thumbing through your transcript soon enough.
Break out that number 2 pencil. We’re going to help you get to the next level.
Going the Extra Mile
Keeping your nose in the books is always a safe bet, but sometimes you need to get out and explore the world around you. Games don’t just come from a vacuum and amazing students don’t come from just high test scores. As much as it seems like a cliché to build up your transcript with extra-curricular activities and service projects, it shows that you’re willing to give back to the community. Helping others also lets you put little things like leadership, working well in groups, and helping to organize on that little piece of paper about your awesome life.
“Be a part of your local gaming community; go to fan events ... This will give you a better sense of the industry and how it works.” Monty Sharma, the Managing Director of MassDigi said. He adds that following them on twitter might help you keep an eye on events that they’re attending. If you’re planning on going the extra mile, you might as well make sure the people you’re trying to impress are watching.
And who says you can’t get in a little gaming on the side? Extra Life is a charity event where you get raise money for kids in need by playing video games. Sign up now and start limbering up those thumbs. When the big day hits October 20th, you’ll be burning through games for twenty four hours straight. It’s not like you weren’t going to play all day. You might as well as put it on your transcript for doing something for the kids.
Play On, Player
And speaking of playing games, you better start hitting the digital books if you want to make it. Start by digging out that old NES and start playing through the classics. Look online and try to pick up some of those games that really made the genre what it is today. Mario, Link, Sonic, Samus; these aren’t just classic characters but games that stand up against the test of time. Start getting your thumbs and mind wrapped around what made these games great and how do those lessons translate into the virtual world of today.
Sometimes you just need to look at the student beside you to find the future of gaming. Digi Pen allows anyone to go to their student game gallery to try out some of the projects developed by students. Search by year or scope out the games that won awards. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, might I suggest trying out Douse, one of the few games to get accepted into this year’s Sense of Wonder Night. You don’t have to travel to Tokyo to check out this game about a droplet.
Start Making Games
Go. Start. What are you waiting for?
You become a gamemaker by making games. There are enough tools already out there just waiting for you to try your hand at producing your own game. Even if you don’t know a line of code, games like LittleBigPlanet give you the chance to use their own tools to create your very own world. Build up to mods and use the instruments of the developers to see your vision come to life.
As Timothy Loew, the Executive Director of MassDigi, puts it, “the best students we see already have a strong portfolio of accomplishments before they even enter college.” When you step on campus this year, be ahead of the class.
Final Words Of Encouragement
When it comes down to it, there’s no one right way to make it into the classes you want or find what you need to learn. Now is your time to start taking control of your education. For those of you out there who have made that transition from high school to college or beyond, leave some words of advice to the next generation of game developers following in your footsteps in the comment section below.
Good luck to everyone and have a great last year of high school!