Saturday, February 24, 2024

Game on: a vitually exciting reality

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In a classroom of Rive Block in Pakuranga College, exciting things are happening.

The creation of software for virtual reality gaming has gripped the imagination of students at Pakuranga College.

A VR game created by Yuewei Zhang, recently won the Year 13 student $1000 at the Media Design School Bright Awards, with an additional $3000 in prize money going to the College.

Organised by New Zealand’s most awarded tertiary digital design institute, the awards recognise the creative talent of high school students from across the country in a range of disciplines, including graphic design, animation, photography and game development.

This year Pakuranga College entered the Game category and took home all three awards in this group resulting in it being named the Bright Awards ‘School of the Year’.

L-r (sitting) Pakuranga College students Tyler Gamble, Yuewei Zhang, Abdul Boateng. Standing L-r(standing) Harrison Wing and Kazuyoshi Taylor. Photo supplied

Vicky Tasker, content and communications manager at Media Design School commented: “Pakuranga College should be enormously proud – we were blown away by the calibre of work (and their utter domination of the Games category) It is a really amazing reflection on the school.”

As winner Zhang prepares to move on to start engineering degree, his position as king of the school’s Game Development Club will be hotly contested by a number of younger students, most of whom took home highly commended accolades for their entries into the Bright Awards.

Charlie Smith from Pakuranga College’s Technology department who oversees the group says: “Most of these students find their way into game development through NCEA Year 9 Communications, which incorporates a one term module in game development. This introduces them to graphics animation, programming and game play (action or plot creation).”

Several of the group are already considering a career in the field, including Year 11 student Tyler Gamble, who is keen to create games that fill a gap in the current range of games available for VR says: “It’s great to be able to create a game with all of the elements I want,” he says, “instead of relying on someone else’s idea of what is fun or interesting”.

The $3000 prize money will be invested in upgrading the college’s virtual reality equipment to ensure the best possible opportunities for the creative minds of the future.

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