The Gumbo game is a simple video game with a theme based on Louisiana that a kindergartner can play. It was designed by students in Glenbrook School’s Coding and Gaming Club using their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math skills. Recently, the club beta-tested the game. 40 kindergartners were able to master it.
According to club sponsor Lesa Ward, the primary code writers for the game were seventh graders Maddox Lee and J.T. Dean, and freshman Makayla Dean. Lee said that he wanted to expand his skills, as he has played video games his entire life.
“When I get to college, I’d like to get a degree in coding, get to a more advanced level in art design and graphics,” he said. “You don’t have to be really smart to do this. It’s pretty easy and it’s fun.”
On each level of the game, there is a different part of Louisiana culture. The first level features a forest, the second a swamp, the third is a New Orleans cemetery, and the fourth features crawfish for catching.
Introducing students to key concepts of STEAM learning was the idea behind the project, according to club sponsor Patrick Miller. “Over the course of the year, students learned the basics of HTML, CSS, website creation and basic video game design,” he said. “Students also got a chance to visit the game design program at Southern Arkansas University to see what their academic options might be for pursuing game design beyond the club.”