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Photos: Schoolkids develop games to aid learning

All play and no work?
By Gemma Simpson, Contributor on
40149904-1-new-picture-1-bmp.jpg
1 of 2 Gemma Simpson/ZDNET

All play and no work?

Scientists are developing software which allows school children to build their own computer games - in a bid to improve their creative and IT skills.

The 'Adventure Author' software, currently being developed at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, will see children aged 10 to 14 designing and building 3D, interactive fantasy-based computer games.

Via a simple, graphical user interface, pictured above, the schoolkids can determine what their games will look like by choosing from a list of pre-programmed sceneries and characters.

The child can then write text for conversations between characters and build up plots and personalities within the game.

Photo credit: Dr Judy Robertson

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2 of 2 Gemma Simpson/ZDNET

Judy Robertson, who's leading the research at Heriot-Watt University, told silicon.com the children will learn a lot about computing but added the emphasis will be more on developing a child's storytelling abilities.

Robertson said the software will allow children to build games very quickly without having to know any complicated computer programming languages.

The research project is due to run until early 2009 and has received funding of nearly £210,000 from the European Physical Sciences Research Council.

The image above shows how a child's game may look when played by an outsider.

Photo credit: Dr Judy Robertson

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