Nintendo Teams Up with the San Francisco Public Library to Teach Kids Basic Video Game Design
Answering the nationwide call for digital learning among children, Nintendo worked with the San Francisco Public Library to host an event to teach kids about the basics of video game design. As technology evolves and becomes a larger part of everyday lives, schools and families are exploring new ways to introduce technology-inspired programs to teach children important skills like coding, programming and video game design. The Super Mario Maker game for the Wii U console, which launched in September to strong reviews and sales, focuses on the joy and creativity that goes into designing Super Mario Bros. levels using a variety of intuitive tools. This fun introduction to design is the perfect match for kids interested in learning more about how video game level design works.
The Super Mario Maker event took place on March 30 in The Mix at the San Francisco Public Library. Opening last summer, The Mix is a creative space on the Main Library Campus where kids and teens can create, learn, engage and share using all sorts of different tools, like state-of-the-art digital media, recording devices and computer equipment. The Mix allows kids of various ages to expand their imaginations, as well as their technology and literacy skills, by engaging in individual and group activities.
“Showing kids that video games are not just fun to play, but also fun to design, is very important to Nintendo,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales& Marketing. “Using Super Mario Maker, our event at the San Francisco Public Library taught children creativity, collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking.”
“Technology is letting librarians engage with kids in new ways. At the San Francisco Public Library, a child might pick up a book, code on a laptop or sit down at a gaming console with a friend,” said Megan Anderson, Youth Centers Manager at the San Francisco Public Library. “Games like Super Mario Maker allow kids to take control of storytelling elements and game design and encourage them on the path from consumers to creators. The library is here to create those opportunities for all kids across the economic and technological divide.”
During the event, kids and their parents attended special workshops hosted by Nintendo game experts that introduced them to video game level design using the Super Mario Maker game. Kids were split into groups and given hands-on time with the game and shown the ins and outs of video game level design from Nintendo. During their workshops, the kids were encouraged to work together to design their own courses in the game, producing some remarkably creative results. One of the levels from the event can be downloaded by anyone who owns a Wii U system and Super Mario Maker by entering the following code in the game’s Course World: E02B-0000-020F-B9DA. The course can also be found by visiting the Super Mario Maker Bookmark site. This site allows players to easily search for levels and see featured levels as well.