by Chris B '15

The Next Generation of Video Game Designers

BSGE has a new elective course called, Video Game Design.  The new course for one stream of 7th graders is designed and taught by Thatcher Clay, a senior architect and technical director at a video gaming studio called Vostu where he and his team primarily design video arcade style mobile games for phones like the iPhone, and the Android phones.  He volunteers his time at BSGE once a week and

hopes to teach students in his class the practical use of subjects that they learn in school for example physics and geometry through designing video games. He hopes the students will have a good time in his class and maybe even help the students spur their interests in video game design.
In class, the students use the program Unity to create simple games, and after getting the hang of it, they progressively build to more complex games. Right now, they are creating a replica of the classic game Pong after going over the basics of video game design.
Students have described the class as both enjoyable and challenging.  Sarah Nasr explains, “It is not difficult as long as you listen to what’s being said and know where things are, otherwise then for the most part it’s easy,” but added, “The worst part is when you get lost and don’t know what to do.”  Yassmin Elbanna agrees and puts the challenges into perspective, “Well at some times it gets difficult, but if everything was easy what would be the fun of that?”
Mr. Clay loves his class and loves teaching students. He explains, “The experience with the class has been great, the students have been by and large very receptive and engaged in the material. Teaching is a lot of work, but it is very rewarding.” He also feels very welcome by the school.  He added, “The students and school are both great.  The students are very receptive and willing to dive into the material, even when it gets a little tricky.  And the school (in particular Mr. Lakhaney) is great for encouraging me to come teach the class.”

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