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Game Development

Gaming. People seem to love it or hate it. Some parents are frustrated about the role gaming plays in their children's lives and at TŌNUI Collab we want to help shift our rangatahi from being consumers to creators. Game development is an engaging and motivating method for shifting our children's relationship with gaming and they develop computational and critical thinking skills along the journey.

With the Covid19 closing our lab, the TŌNUI Collab team went looking for new ways to engage with tamariki. Building our community of game developers from homes across te Tairawhiti, the TŌNUI Collab started leading online workshops. The whanau response has been outstanding and the confidence, capabilities and creativity demonstrated by the tamariki in these workshops has blown our minds!

Initially starting with single one hour workshops we quickly realised that one workshop would never be enough time for these ambitious game developers so we quickly morphed our offerings into weeklong series with tamariki joining us online Monday to Friday for daily one hour workshops. With two of our EdTechs supporting their development journey, the young game developers familiarised themselves with new programs, started to critically analyse gameplay and game narratives, and developed unique, personally reflective online games.

When the country moved into Level 3 and some tamariki returned to school, we even had the privilege of connecting with them online from their school environment. For many of the tamariki taking part, this was their first time learning online. The workshops were kept small and effort was made to develop community online; highlights for our team were watching these young game developers take up the invite to screen share their game and debug their code collaboratively alongside other tamariki; it takes bravery to share when things are not going to plan and to see them help each other problem solve was special. Some parents shifted from quiet observers to participating members of the game development workshops, learning alongside their tamariki. The feedback from parents has been encouraging ….

"It was cool, I get to make my own characters, get to make my own projectiles, get to make my own game. I learnt a lot" Taikorerkore, 10 years old
Thank you to all the Tonui Collab team for providing these online workshops where she can have fun while safely interacting with others outside of our "bubble". Parent of 9 year old.

With morning workshops and afternoon workshops available, tamariki across Tairawhiti created space in their schedules to fit these game development workshops around their remote learning commitments. Over the course of five weeks, TŌNUI Collab created workshop opportunities for 300 tamariki o te Tairawhiti. TŌNUI Collab strives to empower rangatahi o te Tairawhiti to thrive in tech and thanks to the generous support of Trust Tairawhiti these workshops were FREE. We would like to thank the Trust for their ongoing support to enable these opportunities to be made available to our community.

The country has now moved to Level 2 and we are preparing to re-open TŌNUI Collab for school group visits. We look forward to growing what we do as a result of the learnings from Covid19; online workshops are now part of our offerings and we look forward to continuing to create opportunities for rangatahi to workshop with us in online spaces as well as continuing to welcome them into the lab to explore, create and thrive.

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