Thanks for going to the effort of clicking on my blog. For those of you who like it short and sweet (which, let’s be honest, is most of us given how much stuff there is to do!), here is what this blog is about:

The short version:

This is a blog about how video games can be educational and help people learn, and I’ll also be collecting information on the best ways to learn to program and get into the video games industry, just in case you feel inspired enough to have a go at developing as well as playing video games!

Still interested? Great! Then here is a longer explanation. Alternatively, go right ahead and read through my blog posts – I hope you find something that interests and inspires you.

The long version:

The name of this blog is Game To Learn. After spending way way too long coming up with such a simple name, my hope is that it imbues a sense of what this blog is about.

Not to give too much of myself away, I studied science at university and, after slogging away for four long years, came to the conclusion that I had become disenfranchised with the world of academia. It was too uptight; too entrenched in its own views, and I found myself wanting to break out, explore my own ideas and learn what living in the real world – outside of the academic bubble – was really about. I had no interest in pursuing a PhD (much to the displeasure of my professors) and started frantically pacing around Careers Fairs in a desperate attempt to decide on the path I would like to follow upon completing my degree.

Unfortunately, nothing caught my eye. I wanted a career that would be fun, something that would be both challenging and rewarding, while preferably also making use of the skills and knowledge I had developed at uni alongside my growing student debt. Sadly, this proved to be a relatively difficult gem to find in the job market. So I sat down with pen and paper and wrote a list of the things I enjoyed and the things I was looking for in a career. After a great deal of pondering I found myself asking a surprising question: What if I worked in the video games industry?

I have always loved playing video games and, with this fantastic flash of inspiration, I realised I might be able to combine my time at university with my long-held love of gaming.

Things rather snowballed from there and, less than a year later, I found myself working as a programmer for a game development company! It didn’t take me long to realise that the inkling I’d had that this would be my dream job had been spot on. I adore working in the games industry! It’s challenging, fun, rewarding, fast paced and it’s full of wonderful people who are all just as eccentric and game loving as I am! Oh and, for the record, I’m a woman and I have never ever felt ill at ease or targeted because of my sex – if anything people tend to be more welcoming, so no-one at all should feel in any way that they “can’t get into the industry because it’s male dominated” – that’s simply NOT TRUE.

Anyway (sorry, mini rant over) one subject I feel particularly passionate about is the value video games can bring as a source for learning and education. I have often thought it would be much easier to convince young people that, say, conservation of rainforests is very important if you took them on a virtual reality gaming experience within a huge lush rainforest, rather than sitting them down with a textbook and droning on about oil palm and deforestation in countries far removed from the source of the problem.

To this end, I have decided to create this blog. I’m hoping to bring together a culmination of my thoughts and feeling on how video games can help us learn, with wide-ranging examples and aimed towards a large age span. I’m also planning to make some helpful hints for resources to use to learn how to program (The usefulness of this as a skill cannot be understated!!), with the hope being that some of you will feel inspired enough not just to play the games I suggest but to go out there and make your own!

Phew that was longer than I anticipated! So enough preamble, please go and read my blog 🙂 And don’t forget: Game To Learn!

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