The Future of Gaming
Middle school students will have their opportunity to unlock their imaginations as they delve into the world of game design and technology! At the Game & Technology Academy, students get their hands on the latest next-gen computer game design tools, software, and technologies. Depending on which course each student chooses, they will work with the latest versions of Unity and Unreal, as well as 3D Studio Max, Photoshop CS6, Wacom tablets. Students in the Mobile App course will use Android Studio, and Virtual Reality students will get to work with with Google Cardboard and the HTC Vive.
Game Design Gurus
The interactive curriculum, workshops, and simulations at the Game & Technology Academy are taught by Mason’s Computer Game Design college faculty. These subject matter experts and gurus are uniquely qualified to get students started on their path to a possible future in game design. Tap into the valuable insight and experience of:
- Dr. Scott Martin, Founder, Mason Computer Game Design Program; Founding Director, Virginia Serious Game Institute
- James Casey, Assistant Professor of Computer Game Design
- Gregory Grimsby, Assistant Professor of Computer Game Design
- Eric Piccione, Assistant Professor of Computer Game Design
- Sang Nam, Assistant Director, Mason Computer Game Design Program
- Vera Lichtenberg, Founding Director, Mason Game and Technology Academy
Students will also work with current graduate students who are part of the renowned Computer Game Design Program at Mason. These university students are studying and practicing to become the game gurus of the future, and they are on the cutting edge of this industry every day.
The Game & Technology Academy welcomes hundreds of game technology and design oriented middle school students every year. Our students work together to help each other master tools and techniques, tweak ideas, and offer suggestions and critiques to create the best work possible. At the Game & Technology Academy, students meet people who have a wide variety of skills, some of which are different from their own—and that makes this program a great chance to learn from each other as well as the professors and experts from Mason! Student form lasting friendships with fellow Game & Technology attendees, many of whom may be their colleagues in the future.
Throughout the Game & Technology Academy, students work toward creating their own original piece of digital media, whether that’s an animation, a mobile app, or a game. While they are learning the tools and skills they will need to build their title, they will also brainstorm with the Mason game and design gurus and fellow students to refine their concept and look at all of the possibilities available to them.
The program culminates in an Indie Showcase, where the students present their game or animation to their peers and the Mason faculty they have been working with all week. They will explain their concept, talk about how they took it from idea to final production, demo it for the assembly, and hear critiques and suggestions. This is an important step in technology and design development, and it’s a chance to see the great things that everyone has come up with!
Dreams become reality this summer! The Game & Technology Academy offers two convenient options: a residential program and a commuter, or day, program. Students can come every day as a commuter student or spend the duration on campus as a residential student.
The commuter (day) option gives students the flexibility to attend the program and gain all of the knowledge, skills, and experience they are looking for while still having time for summer school, family, vacation, or other activities. Students attend classes for 5 days, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, returning to George Mason each day. Note: You will need to arrange transportation to and from campus for your student.
The residential option gives students a more immersive experience and get a taste of college life in the process. Students will stay on the George Mason University Campus for the full 6-day session and take part in special workshops and presentations.
ACT Engage is an assessment tool that was developed to help measure where students are on their path to a successful future—in school and in life. As Game & Technology Academy attendees, students have the opportunity to take the assessment and see where they are in terms of maturity, motivation, self-regulation, social engagement, and more, which can help them make adjustments to their own personal journey toward reaching their full potential and fulfilling their dreams! You can read more about the mission and results of ACT Engage here.
In addition to giving students experience in the latest technology and tools, the Game & Technology Academy will help them hone personal skills like problem solving, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, communication, and teamwork—skills that will serve them well throughout their education and whole life!