“Video game design provides vast potential for authentic integrated learning opportunities. Students can construct narrative storylines, develop game principles, create digital art, explore math, and become familiar with coding and programming. Jeff Vance highlights Mulitmedia Fusion, a free software program that is challenging and provides a wonderful tool for media creation and game development. ”
It’s no secret that kids (and adults) love playing video games. Video games have become one of the most popular uses of leisure time and are a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Many educators have discovered that video game design and development is an effective learning tool in the classroom. Students who might not be interested in learning video game design and about computer programming but will be interested in video game design and development.
The main problem with teaching video game design and development is the difficulty of learning the traditional programming syntax such as C++. The teacher must be fluent in the programming language and the students have to study for weeks before expecting any progress. It takes a great deal of effort and study to get significant results from a traditional programming language.
Seeing Real Results
Multimedia Fusion 2 is a highly powerful and visual (and free!) tool that can give students very quick results. Within minutes of picking up the tool and a minimal amount of instruction, students are well on their way to seeing results of their efforts. The programming logic for a game in a visual tool like Multimedia Fusion is done with the mouse by creating events and directing what actions happen when the event is true. Multimedia Fusion is a true object oriented programming system.
Educators that have introduced video game design and development into the classroom have noticed some very interesting benefits to the students. Students who were not interested in computer programming before have suddenly become interested in using computers to create video games. Since video game design incorporate math, logic, creative writing, and computer programming among other skills, thus the student ends up learning a lot of diverse subject matter.
The visual interface of Multimedia Fusion is the key to ease of use and student success. Multimedia Fusion is very easy to understand, easy for the teacher to explain and easy for the students to use. Many summer camp programs around the USA use Multimedia Fusion to teach video game design in a week-long summer camp program. Before the end of day 1 many kids are completely comfortable with the software and on their way learning computer programming and software design under the disguise of video game creation.
The software has been used successfully in many schools with elementary thru college level students.