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'Don't just buy a new video game - make one'
December 10, 2013 | By Mike Rose

December 10, 2013 | By Mike Rose
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    30 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Video



"Don't just buy a new video game - make one."
- U.S. President Barack Obama helps kick off Computer Science Education Week 2013.

As part of the Code.org organized computer science event, Obama implored kids and young people to learn computer science in school, and get involved with making games and apps.

"Learning these skills isn't just important for your future," he noted. "It's important for our country's future. If we want America to stay on the cutting edge, we need young Americans, like you, to master the tools and technology that will change the way we do just about everything

"Don't just play on your phone - program it," he added. "Don't let anyone tell you you can't."


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Comments


Kris Graft
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Thanks, Obama.

Igor Hatakeyama
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hahaha

Jeferson Soler
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@ Igor Hatakeyama - What's so funny? The message was/is a good one, in my opinion. Regardless of how anyone feels about President Obama, one should admit that the message was/is a good one. Kids need more encouragement from everyone when it comes to education, especially in today's world.

Arnaud Clermonté
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"Thanks, Obama" is a meme. That's what is funny.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Arnaud Clermonté - It didn't read like a meme to me, to be honest.

Andy Thomas
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You're right on the fact that kids need encouragement, however that encouragement shouldn't come from the president, let alone some politician but rather parents, family, religious leaders, et...

Overall you just described the very disconnected between parents and their children, but then again this is what happen when people allow the government to raise their kids.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Andy Thomas - What you say is very true and I have to agree with you!

Igor Hatakeyama
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Sorry if I sounded offensive or ironic! I really thought it was funny because as Arnaud said, "Thanks, Obama" is a meme. I don't even have a deep understanding on the american government to even try to be ironic about it, as i'm not from the United States.
And yep, it's true! The message is a really good one.

Amor Chouchane
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Yes, we can

Robert Flesch
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Just as long as people continue to buy the ones "we" make ;-) Support more, make more, play more!

Arnaud Clermonté
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Whatever "we" means, eh.

Cordero W
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Can we have government grants pl0x?

Kenneth Barber
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All jokes aside, any message that gets people making something is a good message...

Ryan Creighton
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Don't just buy a universal health insurance website. Make one.

Jonathan Murphy
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Keep those crazy censorship people away from us and it's all good. Creativity requires freedom to see true potential. With that said if I see one Human Centipede game... Oh c'mon Newgrounds?!

SD Marlow
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It's the "make one" part that sticks with me. How many thousands of games are made, uploaded to iTunes or Google Play, and never heard from again? We already have a degree of unrealistic expectations that EVERYONE can make a living at this, so I would have liked to hear a deeper, more understanding message for kids about "learning code" and how the digital job market will soon be where the majority of people work.

Jeferson Soler
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@ SD Marlow - Fair enough, but about anyone getting into the videogame industry, if an individual likes games way too much, then that person should get into the videogame industry and be part of it. That's pretty much the case for the most part!

Brian Milligan
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There is still a lot of need for talent in the industry, maybe mobile games are oversaturated but AAA studios are still fighting for top talent. There is still a lack of computer engineering talent in general and its a great career if you are a motivated and strong programmer.

Anton Temba
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I wish this existed a decade or two ago, so that the parents of young kids could see this and regard video games in a much higher regard as a hobby and a potential career than they did back then.

Lance McKee
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I like Obama and I like this video.

Tanner Mickelson
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I haven't agreed with Obama on anything before this. I'm really glad to see that there's a push to get more kids interested in technology though. And I guess this means that he actually views video games as more than just a method of training mass murderers. This is the first time I've said it, but: way to go Obama!

Amir Barak
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I think he glossed over the whole maths and science aspect of the trade which is a problem (a problem in the industry as well). We don't need to have more kids making video games and apps. We need to make kids understand that Mathematics and Physics and Electronics and other sciences are interesting and fun and useful (which they are and as I tell my daughter, if you want to make amazing things you gotta know maths). I don't think making app and games for the sake of making apps and games will do that...

Computers may play a big part in our future (they already do) but that doesn't mean we need to understand how they work and be able to program them in order to use them. How many of us can properly fix our cars if something happens? Yet we all use our cars and cars are a huge aspect of our lives.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Amir Barak - "We need to make kids understand that Mathematics and Physics and Electronics and other sciences are interesting and fun and useful..." It's not that easy, but it's not that impossible, either. In case of math, you could show kids how math is useful for collision detections in games. Showing the fun side of educational subjects and not make the subjects look too "nerdy"/boring could make things appealing to kids, allowing them to learn and to have fun at the same time.

Alexander Jhin
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@Amir Barak: There's a distinction between computer science, computer engineering, and applied mathematics/applied physics. But they're all getting muddled together! What Code.org and the President are asking for is Computer Engineers NOT Computer Scientists (though he uses them interchangeably), NOT applied mathematicians, and NOT applied physicists.

I've been a professional computer engineer for over a decade. Though I have an advanced computer science degree, took physics and some vector calculus, 99% of my time on the job, I never need math beyond basic algebra. Physics has been mildly more useful, but only barely. Computer science has been helpful from time to time. Frankly, to be a good Computer Engineer has very little to do with Math, Science, or even Computer Science. A good Computer Engineer is like a chef, to be perfectly frank. Except for Computer Engineers in highly specialized fields like Applied Physics, most Computer Engineers need VERY LITTLE math or science knowledge.

So, if we want people to write web pages, create the next Facebook, write iPhone apps, create the next snap chat... just learn Computer Engineering. If you want to create physics simulations, take physics AND Computer Engineering. If you want to publish papers on the Big O equivalent of Quantum Computers, take computer science. Don't take any of these because you think it will help you program... you'll be wasting your time.

Amir Barak
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But this is my point. The education issues we have (on a global scale by the way) is not specific for coding. Writing code isn't hard, I never understood the point some people make of "programming is hard, you gotta have special powers to do it". (Writing code isn't hard, Not writing code is hard).

We need to figure out a way to teach children how to think for themselves, how to reason about life, how to understand cause/effect and why things happen. And we need to make the learning fun and suited for kids individually.

I'm not saying teach kids physics and equations (there's little point in that). I am saying, give kids the tools to learn and understand the importance of these things. And I don't think pushing for kids to write code is the right way about it. I'm not saying its detrimental but I think it glosses over the harder issues of education that's all.

Mike Kasprzak
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We've been jokingly calling this Obama's Ludum Dare keynote (the timing is just too perfect).

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Andrew Webber - He made himself a strong and successful career and against all odds, so in other words, he did forge something in his life.

Amir Barak
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@Andrew,
I know man, it's not like he's the president of... oh wait.
At least he wasn't the first black president of... oh wait.

Oh well, I guess you must be saying he's never ever in his life lifted a crayon or made something out of wood or played sports or fixed a tire or lit a fire or wrote a poem or had an idea or, well you know what I'm just gonna stop here.

You may not like the things he's done but you know... It's hard to go through life without doing things.

I will tell you what he hasn't done (as far as I know); post ridiculous and thoughtless one-liners on forums about people he doesn't like/agree with.

Lima Junior
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Ha! In my country we have to thanks our president by the most expensive PS4 in the world!
Thanks Dilma.


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