The MADE’s Summer Camps Teach Kids the Magic of Making Games

By Scott M. Bruner

Kids love video games. In fact, I’m sure some parents would prefer their kids to maybe play a little less video games this Summer – but what if there was an opportunity for your children to put that passion for video entertainment into something not only creative, but something that challenges their brain? What if video games could improve their grades?

 Those of us who work and play at the MADE love videogames (too much?), but one thing we know is how videogames aren’t just diversions, but rather canvasses to create moving works of art – and this Summer, we’d love to invite your children to see if they’d like to pick up a pixel palette themselves!

Let’s Learn Scratch
This Summer, we’re offering classes for children in MIT’s Scratch. What is Scratch? Well you can read all about it here. but in a nutshell it’s a very accessible program that lets anyone learn the basics of programming games with graphics. It can be as complex or as simple as any user wants it to be.

Seeing the children become creative problem solvers with Scratch was the most fulfilling part of the class,” said Rebecca Cohen, one of the MADE’s instructors. “They’d have an idea about what they wanted their game to do – say, I want this character to shoot an arrow when I press a certain key. It’s apparently simple, but it’s a multi-step process to make it happen. Also, there’s no single right way to do it. It was extremely gratifying to see them finding clever ways to use the program.”

Our classes usually have between 6-10 students/gamers, and our instructors will work with them to learn the basics of the Scratch language, and how that translates into the games that they love.

Making their own video games requires them to think about the elements of a good gaming experience, and all the factors which have to be considered in order to make a game both playable and fun.

Learn from the Pros
They also got to speak to professionals in the industry, which was a great opportunity to learn about the actual video game industry, and how real games come to the market. In the more abstract sense, they learned about the value of working with others on a complex project — they had many opportunities to collaborate, and found that it helped generate creative ideas and made problem-solving much easier.

Check out more about our camps were featured from the San Jose Mercury News.

No “Call of Duty”

Just to put some fears to rest – while we encourage kids to check out the games we have available year-round, this class isn’t about creating and playing any types of age-inappropriate games. That being said, you might be surprised what games kids are fascinated by – and you might be, too (Who doesn’t want to play a little “River Raid” now and then?)

How Do I Sign Junior Up?

Our Summer Camps cost only $250 for each camper. If you’d like to reserve your spot – and we encourage you to sign up early before the spots are gone – please click the PayPal button below. In the notes section, please indicate which week you want to reserve, and the name of your camper.


Class Info 

DATES: June 17 – 21, June 24 – 28, July 15 – 19, & July 22 – 26
TIME: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
COST: $250 per happy camper

For more information, e-mail Camp Director Manuel Tovar or drop by the MADE’s open hours between 12 PM to 6 PM any Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday (610 16th St., Suite 230 in Oakland).

If you’d like to reserve your slot now, click the PayPal button below. In the notes section, please include the week you’re paying for, and the name of your child.

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