The winners of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) game challenge have been announced, after four teams comprised of 18 Year 9 Indigenous students teams headed to Google HQ in Sydney last week to present their game ideas to a panel of judges.
The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) is a social program which is designed to address the challenge of Indigenous students not finishing school at the same rate of every their non-Indigenous peers. Current statistics show that on average Indigenous student is 2.5 years behind in their schooling in the national average in maths and science, AIME hopes to change this.
To help achieve their goal, Google stepped in and donated $500,000 as a grant as part of the Google Impact Challenge.
The grant is being used to develop an immersive online game called AIMESTAR that sparks the interest of young Indigenous students to learn and excel in maths and science. The STEM – a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – focused game, will hopefully connect Indigenous students with a future career in science, engineering, technology, design and innovation.
Before presenting their game ideas, the teams spent a week in Sydney, being mentored throughout the week by game designers and computer engineers from the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE), Mode Games and Google. The teams participating in the challenge also had the opportunity to check out the offices of leading tech companies LinkedIn and Optiver – and the set of ABC’s Good Game.
The panel of judges was illustrious, including Stephanie Bendixsen, aka ‘Hex’ from ABC Good Game, Shane McCartney, Owner and Technical Director at Mode Games, Leticia Lentini, Events Magician and Branding Marketing Manager at Google, and Western Sydney Year 9 AIME student, Jandamarra Smith.
The presentations were made at Google HQ last week, with the winner announced that afternoon. The winning entry, called ‘Second Chance’ and has a great concept:
Second Chance is centered around a student who faces being expelled from school unless he or she agrees to manage the school’s soccer team.
Each member of the team has two bars which cannot fall below a certain level throughout the game; academic and energy. Energy can be replenished by food but the correct food choices must be made e.g. An energy drink will see the energy source skyrocket but will decrease rapidly, as opposed to choosing a healthier food item for sustained energy.
Second Chance will now be developed as a fully fledged game, with the intent to release the title later this year as a free download. Once released, we’ll follow up on how you can go about grabbing the download.