For the second year in a row I have had the enjoyable task of co-judging Code Make Win in Sheffield – a competition for young people aged 9-19 : designing and developing apps, games, robotics and animations.
It’s always fascinating to see how schools and individuals are developing their skills and using their boundless creativity to come up with imaginative ideas and this year was no exception.
A higher number of the young people this year had developed games as their preferred entry and they varied from adventure to educational titles and even included one game where the player acts as a virus trying to infect the Scratch programming language. It would be interesting to know if this evidence that recent of high profile ransomware attacks has to some effect impacting children.
Themes had moved on a little too. Last year there were a large number of Zombie related entries – though they were mostly ‘armless (sorry!) but this year I was treated to a mutant Yorkshire Pudding which took me by surprise.
Twenty five years ago I sat with my friend trying to forge games in “Klik and play” on his Amiga, hoping that one day I would have a career in the digital industry. It’s great to watch the next generation of games developers being recognised for their efforts – its was far less acceptable to spend hours in front of the screen when I was a child.
I hope that next year we can encourage even more children to take part. Perhaps your child or school would like to enter. Keep checking back at the www.codemakewin.org.uk website to find out all about the winners and how to enter in 2018.