At Summer camp, kids make their own video games

Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 17:38:57-04

A two day summer camp lets kids design their own video games and cartoons.

Aidan Boone, 12, says he knows video games used to be played in an arcades, thanks to his parents.

"I think it's pretty cool how far it's come," he said.

It's out with the old and into 2016 now though. Thanks to a camp called the learn, create, build academy, kids learn how to build their own games, in just two days.

"We have a Minecraft module development where kids who love Minecraft , which is a lot of them can learn to build their own mod," said Shane Thomas, cofounder. "Which changes the Minecraft game, so they build something they program something and they actually change the Minecraft game inside. And then we have our video game design, where they design their own video game. We also have our animation camp where they learn to build cartoons and 2-d and 3-d animation."

The camps were created in 2015 by Thomas and Adam Learing. The pair from Souix Falls, South Dakota, previously ran technology companies specializing in website, ecommerce, and mobile application development. In the camps, students mainly focus on using computer programs and sitting at the desk, doing the work. However, even before that, Thomas says it's about teaching kids how to talk and think like a computer. Kids participate in activities and exercises to help with that language.

From there, kids take their new language to the keyboard. Boone is working on a video game.

"You have to try to shoot the enemies but you can't get hit by them."

In addition to the skills picked up in the two day, $150 day camp, kids are giving work to go home with. Don't call it homework though, the idea is to trick the campers into having fun so they don't realize they are learning STEM skills.

For more information on the camps, visit