Namibia: NUST and MTC collaborate on Game Design Jam in high school

Berhanne Wheeler, one of the two winners of the first-ever High School Game Design Jam (HSGDJ) competition, said the event was a great experience, where he learned many skills while designing his game.

Wheeler and Shiimi Anongeni emerged victorious with their game ‘Don’t Be Late’, winning the top prize of N $ 12,000 out of 34 teams, including learners in Grades 8-12, as well as those who improve their results in various colleges and schools. .

The competition was organized by the Faculty of Informatics and Informatics at the University of Science and Technology of Namibia (NUST) in collaboration with mobile phone giant MTC.

Organized virtually under the theme ‘Gamifying Mathematics’, the competition challenged learners to design and create a prototype computer or board game, with the challenge of integrating math into the game and finding a way. creative to promote TCM products.

“Our game ‘Don’t Be Late’ is about the in-game character who needs the player to answer math questions to get to school on time,” Wheeler explained. He said the Game Design Jam was a great opportunity for him to challenge himself to help solve a problem in his community.

“I received a lot of support in the competition from my mom, dad, siblings, cousins, friends and my computer teacher. I am also thankful that God helped me. in my journey through this competition, ”he told Youth Corner.

Gabriel Nhinda, professor of computer science at NUST, said the initiative exposes learners to other career opportunities in the game development industry while ensuring that they solve tangible problems through innovation and to creativity.

“The platform further aims to create a group of experts capable of pragmatically solving social and economic problems through gamification in Namibia and for Namibia,” he said.

Nhinda further stated that the Game Design Jam wanted to create an opportunity for industry partners like MTC to educate their customers about services and products through gamified service advertisements on different gaming platforms.

“This year, we focused on gamification of the National Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary (NSSCO) math curriculum of the National Institute for the Development of Education (NIED),” he added.

During the competition, learners were also mentored in aspects such as game design, effective video creation, pitching, and presentation training sessions facilitated by faculty IT staff, student society Muhoko and Chubo Zeko, a local software developer.

The game “The Download” came in second, followed by “Trigonometric Dash”, coming away with N $ 9,000 and N $ 6,000, respectively.

The winners will be supervised by the High-Tech Transfer Plaza Select.

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