Video game education a power up for students, says Victoria school district

Source: CBC News

Victoria students in Grades 11 and 12 to spend a week or two at local companies

Victoria, BC - February 24, 2016 - This spring, a handful of Victoria high school students will gain some real-world experience in video game development in Victoria-based game studios.

The Student Video Game Work Experience Program is a partnership between local game companies and the Greater Victoria School District.

Nicola Priestley, the school district's career coordinator, says the program will give Grade 11 and 12 students the chance to spend a week or two working at a local game studio.

"It's a way for us to expose our kids to another industry. They may love video games. They may love playing video games, but they don't look at it as a potential career pathway," she told On The Island host Gregor Craigie.

"Within this industry, there's so many career paths … so I think it's a win-win for them."

Andrew-Wynn Williams of  Codename Entertainment, one of the participating companies, added that video games are an important hook to get students into computer science.

"We want a growing tech industry. We want coding in school, and these are all things we agree are important focuses," he said. "There's no Grade 8 student in a school today going, 'I want to learn coding so I can code a giant industrial freezer.' They want to work in video games. And so we are kind of like the gateway."

Williams says kids in the program usually gravitate to coding, art or are a little unsure of what they want to do, so do a more general industry immersion.

The program is in its second year, and Williams says he's hopeful that more companies will get on board than the six that did last year. Greater Victoria School District students can apply for the program at their schools.

Click to hear the full interview: Victoria students to become (work)-Space Invaders at local video game companies