This post is migrated here from my 2011 blog

Hi! This is the first day of Ramadan ending holiday, so happy eid!!! :D

After Prison Escapor, I had to come to Alexandria for the holiday submitting to my family’s demands, and at the same time I was interested in visiting a place in Alexandria (Egypt) called IdeasGym which is a wonderful project that concentrates on after-school activities for kids of ages starting from around 6 years up to 18 years.

It aims to introduce them to a fun science, art, and social environment while keeping them healthy via working-out in the mini-gym and eating healthy food, I’ve seen wonderful things in there and the place -although not very big- has a lot of potential and shows a lot of promise.

Among the activities they provide: Robotics via robotics kits (a very rare thing here), cinematic production and direction, architectural/mechanical/electronic oriented activities, and of course, many artistic activities as well.

I had the honor of being invited there by the project manager to talk about possibly giving game development and design courses for multiple age ranges..

Teaching this profession to kids is not easy, because I believe it mainly depends on how much passion for making games the individual has. Needed knowledge is not centralized in a field of study like in academic fields, but it’s all over the place and it’s up to the interested individual to choose which things to get into and study.. however, if we’re talking about merely giving kids a taste of what making games feels like, I think that’s easier to accomplish.

There are a number of game design schools in the world, not many but there are a few.. and even if they actually teach game design and development practically for several years including multiple group projects.. If you ask a game studio head whether s/he prefers fresh junior game developers coming from related academic backgrounds (ie. Computer Science) or those coming from game schools (like Full Sail or DigiPen), the response you get most of the time is that they are both on the same grounds, it all depends on how much passion each put into gamedev.

I’m kinda conflicted about this, success in teaching gamedev is not going to be an easy thing to accomplish and the fact there is a language and social barrier for me in here won’t probably help me with the kids.

On the Cloud Mill front, I’ve developed the new website (link obsolete) to be partially dynamic, all pages there are generated by the python app hosted on the google app engine platform, I’m now trying to tackle creating complex relations between entities in the datastore (google app engine has a very different solution for databases) and also planning for an easy way to add and edit new content to the site, including games. Life is good!

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31 August 2011