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AMD Game Design Education Program Deployed at Beijing Middle School

Activate!, a Web-based service operated by technology giant AMD aimed at helping middle schoolers learn and practice beginning video game design, has be adopted at the Dandelion Middle School in Beijing, China. The company estimated as many as 480 students will enroll in one of the four week-long game design and programming workshops that began at the school July 5.

Seeking to promote STEM skills and greater global consciousness, AMD launched its Changing the Game Initiative in 2008, which led to the development of Activate! Created by PETLab, a socially conscious game development project formed as a partnership between Games for Change and New York's Parsons The New School for Design, Activate! features several tools to help budding game designers learn development and programming, including game design tutorials and a gallery of sample games for visitors to examine and learn from, as well as play. The Dandelion workshops, which are being taught on site in Beijing by instructors from Parsons, mark the program's first deployment in China.

"This program at the Dandelion Middle School is an important collaboration to teach students valuable technical skills, and may ultimately lead them to become productive future contributors to China's growing IT economy," said a spokesperson for AMD Greater China.

The company also donated 30 AMD Athlon II-based computer systems for installation in the Dandelion computer lab to be used during the workshops and for the students' ongoing game development education.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.