To avoid the heat, Colin Goldman recently sat in front of a computer and played a video game.
While many other children do the same during the hot summer months, Colin's game is different.
He created it himself.
Colin, along with 38 other pupils, attended a recent camp at Augusta Preparatory Day School to learn how to design and program a video game.
"You try to collect all the pots of gold," the rising Augusta Prep fourth-grade pupil said about his game. "That gives you points."
Colin's game, complete with the grim reaper and headless robots, doesn't have a name yet. He has enjoyed choosing gaming options.
"It's really fun," he said. "You get to test the game and pick all the stuff that's in it."
This was Augusta Prep's first year holding the camp.
Many of the children initially had no experience with video game programming, said Jaimie Jones, one of the camp instructors, from Active Learning Services.
Instructors first taught the pupils how to use Game Maker software, and toward the end of the week, Jones said they could begin personalizing their own games.
"Most of the kids really eat it up," she said. "They love being here."
The group learned how to build walls, different rooms, multiple levels and create enemies and multiple players.
They could create whatever they imagined, Jones said, adding that all game features were "kid-friendly."
On the final day of camp, Jones said, campers left with their own CDs, the game programming software and a game guide.
In addition, she said the campers receive a copy of their games, which they could continue working on at home, and every other game in the class.
"We want them to have a week that was a total blast," Jones said. "I hope they walk away with a video game, and it's totally their own."
Sarah Malik, a rising fifth-grade pupil at Augusta Prep, worked steadily on her game, which she said would eventually consist of 25 levels.
"The main character is a dragon," she said. "For every five levels there is a boss, which is the hardest character to beat."
Sarah said she would remember the skills she learned at video game camp long after summer ends.
"I've always liked computers," she said. "Over the summer, I wanted to create a Web site, and I thought this would help and be something fun to do."
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