The pivot to virtual summer camp is more difficult when camp is all about zip lines and pool time. It’s a lot easier when the summer session is about Minecraft and video game design. But to Game-U Summer Camp Coordinator Austin Wood, one thing is still the same. “The culture and the environment of our camps that we strive to create is one of fun and excitement, while still maintaining a personal touch to our instruction,” he says. “Campers get to connect with other campers and their instructors over a shared love of video games, and form friendships that will last a lifetime!”
Game-U was founded in 2013 as an after-school program designed by game industry professionals to teach kids how to design and build their own video games and robots. The summer camp was added two years later and now offers week-long science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) courses. Open to children ages 6-17, the camps center around topics including Game Design, Coding, Minecraft Modding (that’s modifying for parents) and Arts and Robotics.
“We are unique because our curriculum is designed and taught by instructors who are veterans in the game design industry, and who have worked for companies such as LucasArts, Microsoft, Sony, EA and Activision,” says Wood, a former camper himself. In years past, the camps were hosted in studios in New Jersey and Ohio, but now the program has gone fully virtual. “This was the safest option that we could go with for our camps, and luckily still allows us to provide the same quality camp experience we’ve always had,” Wood says. “This also opens up opportunities for campers across the country to participate, since we are no longer limited by geography.”