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Industry Insights: How Screen Time Helped Me in School

Posted by | Opinion | No Comments

This article is part of our ongoing Industry Insights series where parents who work in the video game industry share their personal stories. This entry comes to us from Mike Mika, who is also known as “Donkey Kong Dad” because he hacked the classic arcade game at his daughter’s request so she could play as the female character rather than Mario. Mike is currently the Chief Creative Officer at independent developer, Other Ocean Interactive.

As a volunteer on the tech subcommittee for the PTA at my son’s school, I have come face-to-face with the reality that there continues to be unreasonable fear of “screen time” and its effects on young children. By authorizing the purchase of tablets for kindergarten class, our subcommittee unleashed a firestorm of criticism. During the discussion, while the other members of the PTA debated about whether “screen time is appropriate for kids that young,” I tuned out because I was recollecting the impact of technology and gaming on my life. Read More

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Read, Play, Love: Industry Pros Offer Advice To Teens Interested in Making Games

Posted by | Tips for Parents | No Comments

The games industry is a hot career path right now—it’s exciting, it’s new, and a lot of young people love games. Who doesn’t want to be paid well for something they adore?

Okay, so it’s not all rosy. Anyone in the know will tell you that working on games, while it can be lucrative, is very tough—we’re talking ridiculously long hours during crunch time, minimal job security, and a lot of training. That doesn’t mean those dreams are out of reach, of course. First of all, developing games is only one facet of the games industry—there’s also journalism, art, music, PR, and more. I mean, one of my best friends has made a career out of composing orchestral covers of video game music—it’s not what you might think of first, but he’s very happy doing what he loves, and music in games is what he loves best.

I reached out to the industry professionals I know for advice they would offer teens who came to them with questions, and here’s what they had to say. Read More