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The Corporation

Posted: 17/02/16

Students learn about video-gaming through the ages

Computer science students at West Nottinghamshire College enjoyed some retro gaming and zany challenges during a visit to the cultural centre of videogame technology.

  • Joe Suggit (left), 17, and Thomas Collier, 16, have fun turning a banana into a videogame controller.
  • Students (front, from left) Ross Fitch, 17, Liam Buxton and Arek Michalski, both 16, learn how fruit can be used to complete a circuit board by acting as an electrical conductor.

More than 20 students on the Level 2 diplomas in IT software development and systems support took a tour through the decades at GameCity – Nottingham’s National Videogame Arcade – where they learned about the history and inner-workings of some of the industry’s best-loved games.

The arcade, on Carlton Street, houses three floors of playable exhibitions and features arcade classics such as Space Invaders, Tetris and Donkey Kong.

Students had the opportunity to learn new programming skills during their visit, on Thursday 11 February, which was specially-designed around their diploma.

They also took part in madcap activities that involved using fruit such as bananas to complete a circuit board, with the produce acting as an electrical conductor that enables it to become a games console controller or work as a computer keyboard.

Computer science curriculum manager Trudi Dean said: “The visit to GameCity was amazing. Not only did it give our students hours of entertainment, they benefitted from discovering how videogames work – from how they are programmed and designed, to how they are marketed.

“The masterclass was hugely beneficial, with students creating a fully-functional game control device using an understanding of interface design and basic electronics. This will inspire further exploration within the classroom to enhance their assignments and skills development.”