SpeedAdmin Academy: Game Creation as a course in Performing Arts Schools

Playing computer games is one of the most popular leisure activities for children and adults today.

In this conversation with Lisa Söderlund, business developer at the Stockholm School of the Arts, and Oscar Wemmert, game developer and educator at the Malmö School of Performing Arts, we learn how they've worked to develop courses in game design for children in arts schools by networking and collaborating with other arts schools in Sweden.

We get examples of successful activities and hear about the challenges and problems they have encountered.

One activity that has been tested is Game Jam, where participants from different municipalities meet online and create games together during a school holiday. Using the Discord platform and the free online tool Scratch, children can be creative together and create their own games.

They are supported by teachers who are available on the Discord forums.

A major challenge is finding the right staff to teach the subject. There are currently no formal training programmes for game teachers. The solution so far has been to find game developers with an interest in education and to retrain existing arts school teachers who have a personal interest in computer games. As these teachers have different backgrounds and skills, it is also possible to create different specialisations in game development, with one teacher focusing on sound and music creation, another on graphics and a third on character and story development.

Another major challenge for Swedish arts schools is to reach out to new target groups. In general, more girls than boys participate in Swedish arts schools. Game design attracts mostly boys, and even though this balances out the number of participants in the school as a whole, efforts are being made to attract more girls through various specialised activities.

Oscar Wemmert also talks about what is happening in the gaming world in the Nordic region and Europe. While in the past computer games were mostly associated with the business world, with companies creating and selling their games as a business, games are now also starting to enter the cultural world as an art form, through associations, computer game centres, etc. The issue has now reached government level in several Nordic countries, and the development towards an art form is gaining momentum.

You can see the whole talk here in this Academy.