On the 17th of March the ICT department took 25 students to Hull University to an event called Platform Expo 2012. The Platform Expos are unique events that are designed to both showcase the digital gaming and entertainment industry and communicate how this vibrant business sector can provide sustainable careers and business growth. Students from all year groups went on the visit with the intent of finding out more about the video games industry.

We were one of the first groups to arrive to the event at 10 o’clock; the first exhibitor the group visited was retro gaming here students tried out some of the gaming classics such as Pacman and Space Invaders. Students also attended several lectures led by leading industry experts and developers.  Students were given opportunity  to watch 3D artists design game characters and also watch designers develop stunning game levels in front of them.

Students were invited to meet one of the creators of the revolutionary Raspberry-Pi computer. One of the four Raspberry Pi computers in Europe was being demonstrated also, this makes our school students the first in Europe to get their hands on with this technology.

Every student who went on the trip found it valuable in terms of their own aspirations and many students were also inspired by many areas of the Video Games industry. The following is an extract from a Year 8 student’s evaluation of the day:

 At platform expo I learnt many things like the Raspberry Pi and upcoming games.

I attended a lecture about the cloud and OnLive. I found out that it is a worldwide console which can never go out of date because it always updates the store with the new games and it also has all the old games for SNES and Sega mega drive. You can go online with OnLive and you can also spectate other people’s games. Another lecture that I attended was Steve Ince creativity and games and he was on about how to become a game designer and he said the best way is to just design and you will get better and better at it. Throughout the day I went on different consoles and spoke to many people. I learnt more about the Sony PSP Vita and also learnt more about retro games.

I enjoyed Platform Expo because there was so much to do and lots of things to watch. The best bit was when I attended the cloud lecture because I learnt lots of things and also won a OnLive console. I also now have an idea on what I would like to do in the future; I would like to do computer programming for games and other software.”

Planning for next year’s expo has already begun and at least double the amount of students will be invited to attend, a debate on the Video Games industry called the Platform Debate will be taking place in June with staff and students already invited.

I would like to thank Lindsay West (@lindsayplatform) for inviting us and making the day such a great learning experience for our students.  See you next year.

To find out more about Platform Expos check out their website http://www.platformexpos.com/

Flickr pictures from the visit here


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