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South Fayette Parks and Recreation program to teach elementary-age kids video game design

| Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

A South Fayette Parks and Recreation Department program will help children go from playing video games to developing them — at least with the basics.

The program, planned for the municipal building at 515 Millers Run Road, will be held from Jan. 14. It costs $70 per child to attend and is geared toward those age 7 to 10.

The program enables kids to create their own video games using computers and specially designed software, following the same process as professional video game developers.

“It's hard to provide programs for kids around 10,” parks Director Paula Simmons said.

Simmons focused on programs that appeal to the tween age group when researching ideas and came upon the Hi-Tech Learning group.

Shawn Walk is the owner of Hi-Tech Learning, and the company made the instruction for the Video Game Design class specifically tailored to the age group.

“Students in this class use a program called Kodu to code a video game,” Walk said. “The program uses drag-and-drop picture coding, so it's more user-friendly for kids.”

The class is split into nine lessons covering different aspects of game design.

“All kids will make a short video game as part of the class,” Walk said. The students will leave with their own game that they can play with their friends at home.

Pre-registration is required and can be done at South Fayette's recreation page at southfayettepa.com.

Rebecca L. Ferraro is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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