Nintendo is teaming up with the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and Girls Make Games to show how fun it is to learn how to create video games.
Game Builder Garage, which is now available for the Nintendo Switch family, will be part of Girls Make Games’ popular summer camps, and Nintendo will be the title sponsor for STEM Day during the NSLA’s National Summer Learning Week, among other upcoming activities – all to help young people learn how to make games through the software’s highly interactive lessons.
In Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch, kids can go hands-on with interactive, step-by-step lessons that introduce the basics of visual game programming – and no prior experience is necessary! Once kids learn the basic skills from the in-game lessons, they will be able to create their own video games – from side-scrolling platformers, to kart racers, to space blasters – by connecting mysterious creatures in the game called Nodon. Game Builder Garage is designed to make learning about and building video games just as much fun as playing them.
“With many kids around the country starting their summer breaks this month, Game Builder Garage is launching at just the right time to support the National Summer Learning Association and Girls Make Games’ seasonal activities. Partnering with these two passionate organizations makes perfect sense, as we all share the same mission of putting smiles on faces and helping kids learn something new in an interactive, fun way,” said Nintendo of America’s Senior vice president of sales and marketing Nick Chavez.
From 12 July to 16 July, the NSLA is hosting National Summer Learning Week, a celebration dedicated to elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, active and engaged through the summer months. Nintendo is sponsoring the STEM Day portion of the week-long virtual event, using Game Builder Garage as a way to reach kids interested in learning the basics of game design. More details about National Summer Learning Week, as well as a Parent Portal for summer learning resources, are available now.
“For 25 years, NSLA has encouraged educators – be it a parent, camp counselor or program director – to engage children in learning by meeting them where they are with their interests and curiosity. Game Builder Garage is a great example of leveraging a kid’s love of gaming and using it as an opportunity to teach video game design while sparking creativity on a system they are already familiar with and love. We’re proud to partner with Nintendo to foster a generation of creators and innovators,” said National Summer Learning Association CEO Aaron Dworkin.
During this summer’s Girls Make Games summer camps and workshops, Game Builder Garage will be a featured game, allowing attendees to learn how the Nintendo Switch software can teach them the basics of video game design in a visual and intuitive way. The Girls Make Games summer camps will run for three weeks in July. Anyone that’s interested in signing up for the all-virtual activities can visit the Girls Make Games website and can enroll.
Girls Make Games CEO Laila Shabir said, “At Girls Make Games, we care deeply about making game design and development accessible to our students through a combination of community and the right educational tools. We’re thrilled to partner with Nintendo to bring the magic of making your own game in the Game Builder Garage software to kids everywhere. Learning to make a game is just as fun as playing it, and we can’t think of a better way to spend a summer!”
Learning about how to create video games is only the tip of the game-design iceberg in Game Builder Garage. Once equipped with the tools learned in the initial lessons, kids can let their imaginations run wild in Free Programming mode. Here, dozens of different Nodon can be combined in creative ways to make all sorts of different video games. These creations can even be shared with friends and family over the internet or via a local wireless connection. Kids can download their friends’ games, take a peek at the programming behind the scenes that brought them to life, and even build on them and collaborate back and forth – all within the software.
Game Builder Garage is now available for Nintendo Switch at a suggested retail price of $29.99. A free demo, which will let players experience the entire first lesson, is also available on Nintendo Switch.