School game design project launches with Sophia George
From left to right: Jessica Winter, Jamie Gray, Ben Prophet, Sophia George, Dakota Murray
Primary school children across Dundee will learn about video game design from BAFTA-winning artist and designer Sophia George in a new four-month project, Game Changer Dundee.
This is Sophia’s first project after last week releasing Strawberry Thief, the William Morris-inspired iPad game created following her role as the V&A’s first ever Game Designer in Residence.
Game Changer Dundee is a partnership between Abertay University’s Outreach and Public Engagement Network and Dundee City Council’s ICT Support team, who have previously delivered a range of successful coding and game design education projects.
Sophia will introduce pupils to her inspirations as an artist and game designer, leading practical sessions looking at the links between traditional art and modern video games. She will focus on creating artwork and game ideas on paper – emphasising the importance of traditional art skills to digital industries like video games.
Sophia George said: “Game design is a very complex, creative skill that’s wonderful to introduce to school pupils at a young age. We’ll be looking at how traditional school subjects like art, music and maths are essential to creating games, and focusing on the importance of art and creativity to making games.
“I’m excited to share my influences from my time in the V&A in London, particularly female artists that are often overlooked. Traditional art skills and historic artists are a rich area of inspiration for game designers, and one I’ll be exploring across Dundee’s primary schools.”
Dr Patricia Sterpaio, Coordinator of Abertay University’s Outreach & Public Engagement Network, said: “It’s very important that school pupils get experience of art and science at a young age, helping them to understand how their school subjects connect to exciting careers like game design.
“Sophia is a very inspiring individual for young people, particularly girls interested in subjects and careers that can be stereotyped as just for boys. We’re delighted to be supporting this project that will show hundreds of young people the opportunities open to them.”
Dundee City Council education convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to explore the creativity behind video games.
“I am sure that they will be inspired by Sophia George and that they will apply this excellent experience to their learning and development.”
Sophia will visit each participating school twice, before and after Christmas, to give the pupils time to create artwork and game ideas to present to her.
Primary schools across Dundee were invited to take part, with over 30 classes from 21 schools participating in Game Changer Dundee.
Sophia will also show the pupils her new game design ideas, seeking their input into her current research looking at the works of Margaret Macdonald, the wife of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and her sister Frances.
Sophia is utilising the collaborative tools of the new, updated Glow system, enabling pupils and teachers to come together to share experiences and exhibit their creative designs in a virtual learning space.
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