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A weekend to develop an educational game facilitating teaching of A’ level computing

Publication Date: Dec 03, 2017
MITA has last weekend launched its second edition of the Game Jam - a 45-hour event whereby 54 students from different educational institutions, divided into thirteen teams got together to create 13 individual educational game prototypes. 

The students worked assiduously across the weekend until midday of Sunday to compete and secure their winning ticket to Krems, Austria for several educational workshops on game development; as well as a summer student placement at MITA. The topic of this year’s Game Jam focused around Computing at Matsec / Advanced level. 

The aim of the competition was to bring together students from different creative fields to develop a digital serious game within a limited amount of time. The competition tested the students’ skill of resilience and determination, their ability to work under pressure and their willingness to work within a team. 

For the opening event, the keynote speaker Alexander Pfeiffer from the Donau University in Krems, Austria gave an inspiring speech about ‘Nudging’ – a new concept related to the design elements that should be considered in educational games. 

Following that, Dylan Seychell from the Google Developers Group and St Martin’s Institute, together with pedagogical experts from the G.F. Abela Junior College and St Martin’s College guided the students in designing their game.  

The winning team – The Flying Dutchman with their game Packet Defence were awarded with the opportunity to attend a workshop with Mr Scot Osterweil, Head of MIT Game Lab to be held in July 2018 at the Donau University in Austria. The award therefore includes a cash prize redeemable against flights, and accommodation to attend these lectures for each team member. Furthermore, the Flying Dutchman team and the runner ups – Cipher Yellow with their game Mal War will also win a summer placement at MITA through the Student Placement Programme.

This event was organised by MITA, in collaboration with the Department of Intelligent Computer Systems, Faculty of ICT within the University of Malta, St Martin's Institute of Higher Education, Middlesex University and the Google Developers Group, Malta Branch.