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Popularity spurs growth of computer game camp


April 20, 2009

Arizona State University is expanding its popular CampGame summer program in computer video game development for middle school and high school students.

Growing interest in the program shown in past years has led to plans for more classes and more in-depth training offered through ASU’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.

“In the near future, gaming technology skills will be second nature in our society and as ubiquitous as cell phones. ASU realizes the need to start the awareness of this technology among youngsters in the K-12 grades,” said Amresh Ashish, who teaches in ASU’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering and manages CampGame.

“The video game industry has grown from a multimillion to a multibillion-dollar industry in a very short time. Gaming technology has evolved over the years and is being applied to areas ranging from medical rehabilitation to military training,” he said.

“We’re pleased about the opportunity to expand CampGame this year to include a middle school program and help educate more students in our community,” Amresh said.

In addition to the technical aspects of game development, students learn teamwork through group projects. They get an introduction to the computer gaming industry and explore real-world application of the skills necessary to create and develop computer games.

They will complete fully functional two-dimensional or three-dimensional game prototypes, and exhibit their work at a CampGame open house form family and friends.

Sign-up deadline for the program is May 20. Classes will be Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at ASU’s Tempe campus and at SkySong – The ASU/Scottsdale Innovation Center. A limited number of seats are available for the classes on a first-come basis.

There are three two-week courses and a six-week course. Tuition for the two-week courses is $300 per student. It’s $1,000 per student for the six-week course.

A June 1 through 12 program is designed for students entering seventh through ninth grades.

Courses for students entering 10th through 12th grades include two June 15 through July 1 courses that focus of different aspects of computer gaming, and a more extensive June 15 through July 24 course.

Instructors Amresh, Ara Shirinian and Clark Morrisaint combine experience in teaching computer science and engineering and designing computer games, as well as developing computer graphics and video for the entertainment industry.

For more details, and to see some of the computer video games created by previous students in the program, go to the Camp Game Web site at  http://sci.asu.edu/campgame/index.php 

For inquiries, e-mail scisummercamps@asu.edu or call (480) 965-3199.