A beginners's guide

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Games can help engage with STEAM subjects

Let’s tackle some common questions about games in the classroom, before sharing some useful resources.

Games are played by 94% of under 25 year olds in the UK (IAB), which means that every child from every background plays games. Games are fantastic tools to use in the classroom because their interactivity is so engaging and because every game is designed to teach new players new skills.

The skills employed in games development cover many core curriculum subjects – Art, English, Maths, Design and Technology, Science and Engineering, Music. Learning how to make games can reinforce your work teaching these STEAM subjects.

There are lots of free, accessible introductions to games development online, including online courses and downloadable materials, some of which are showcased in Essential resources below. Check them out.

  • How do games help in the classroom?

    Games are played by 94% of under 25 year olds in the UK (IAB), which means that every child from every background plays games. Games are fantastic tools to use in the classroom because their interactivity is so engaging and because every game is designed to teach new players new skills.

  • How can games development skills help your pupils?

    The skills employed in games development cover many core curriculum subjects – Art, English, Maths, Design and Technology, Science and Engineering, Music. Learning how to make games can reinforce your work teaching these STEAM subjects.

  • How can my pupils start learning games development?

    There are lots of free, accessible introductions to games development online, including online courses and downloadable materials, some of which are showcased in Essential resources below. Check them out.

Games development involves artists, writers, programmers, designers, animators, musicians, sound technicians, producers, actors and many more traditional roles like marketing and accountancy, not to mention exciting roles in games streaming and Esports.

Any of the STEAM subjects will be useful so encourage them to follow their passion. Keeping them conversant with any creative technology or better yet computer science will be beneficial.

We advise all children to follow their passion and to start making games as soon as possible. It’s important for older secondary schoolchildren to gain experience working in teams and to build a portfolio of work. The skills they’ll gain are highly transferable and sought after by lots of other sectors. The links below will help and attending Games Careers Week events will too.

  • What skills are used in games careers?

    Games development involves artists, writers, programmers, designers, animators, musicians, sound technicians, producers, actors and many more traditional roles like marketing and accountancy, not to mention exciting roles in games streaming and Esports.

  • What subject choices should I encourage my pupils to consider at GCSE and A level?

    Any of the STEAM subjects will be useful so encourage them to follow their passion. Keeping them conversant with any creative technology or better yet computer science will be beneficial.

  • How can I encourage my pupils to work towards a games career?

    We advise all children to follow their passion and to start making games as soon as possible. It’s important for older secondary schoolchildren to gain experience working in teams and to build a portfolio of work. The skills they’ll gain are highly transferable and sought after by lots of other sectors. The links below will help and attending Games Careers Week events will too.

Nearly 19,000 people make games professionally in the UK’s fastest growing creative industry today, supported by another 6,000 in marketing and retail. Average games salaries for starters and staff in their 20s are significantly higher than national averages.

Very! The games workforce is changing rapidly and increasingly developers come from every gender, background and community. Games Careers Week is campaigning to encourage anyone from any background to consider careers in games.

What next?

12-15 year olds

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  1. Watch the role videos on our careers pages and ask which roles appeal the most
  2. Take an introductory class on Gamemaker or Unity (see below)
  3. Attend a Games Careers Week event that’s right for the age group
  4. See if any Colleges or academies near you have games development courses like these from the NextGen Skills Academy
  5. Keep studying whichever of these GCSE subjects they enjoy: computer science, maths, art and design technology.

15-17 year olds

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  1. Watch the role videos on our careers pages and ask which roles appeal the most
  2. Take classes on Unreal, Gamemaker or Unity (see below)
  3. Attend a Games Careers Week event that’s right for the age group
  4. It’s not essential to have a degree but degree courses accredited by industry programmes like TIGA’s or ScreenSkills’ can improve career chances for graduates
  5. Keep studying whichever of these A level subjects are favourites: computer science, maths, art and design technology.
  6. Keep playing and making games as much as possible in spare time

18+ year olds

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  1. Research games roles through sites like Into Games, Grads in Games, British Esports Association and ScreenSkills
  2. Take BGI’s free Start your career in games development course on Futurelearn
  3. Teach yourself how to make games using any of the online courses below
  4. It’s not essential to have a degree but degree courses accredited by industry programmes like TIGA’s or ScreenSkills’ can improve career chances for graduates
  5. Attend a Games Careers Week event that’s right for the age group
  6. Attend an online games jam like these
  7. Build a portfolio of work, perhaps following advice from Grads in Games
  8. Keep playing and making games as much as possible in spare time

Essential resources

Below you will find a range of permanent resources running year round.

We have added age badges to guide you towards sites that have resources appropriate for the age group listed.

Teachers – please note that our age badges are not certified age ratings so we recommend you review all materials to decide if they are appropriate for your pupils.

Games Careers Week is a free non-profit event organised and funded by the BGI, Into Games and Grads in Games, supported by TIGA, NextGen Skills Academy, Gamesindustry.biz and Ukie

Organised by

About the BGI
About the BGI

The BGI is a charity number 1183530 which educates the public about games through the National Videogame Museum, training and research.

About Into Games
About Into Games

Into Games is a national non-profit Community Interest Company that supports people from all backgrounds in finding rewarding careers in games.

About Grads for Games
About Grads for Games

Grads in Games is a non-profit Community Interest Company which equips students with the skills games employers need.

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