Gamestar Mechanic is designed to foster critical 21st century skills such as systems thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, digital media literacies and a motivation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning: all skills that are increasingly important in a highly-networked, digital, rapidly evolving 21st century world.
Beyond their value as entertainment, digital games and game-making tools are key entry points for many young people into digital literacy, online social communities and tech-savvy identities. A game designer must be a socio-technical engineer, thinking about how people will interact with the game and how the game will shape both competitive and collaborative social interactions.

Focus on Game Design

Gamestar Mechanic differs from other game creation tools by focusing on game design rather than computer programming. Knowing how to put together a successful game involves system-based thinking, creative problem solving, art and aesthetics, writing and storytelling.
Through the game design process, students learn about how systems work and how they can be modified or changed. Students learn to think analytically and holistically, to experiment and test theories, and to consider other people as part of the systems they create and inhabit.
We live in a world of systems, from natural systems such as the environment and the human body to man-made systems like transit and communication. Understanding how systems are designed and used are key 21st century skills. Game design is a great jumping off point to 'systems thinking'.
Gamestar is also a powerful platform for motivating kids toward STEM careers. Because of its emphasis on game design rather than computer programming, Gamestar is a great entry-level tool for students wanting to learn to make games. Once they have mastered game design's core concepts and vocabulary, it will be easy for them to move into programming-oriented game design tools that range from Scratch, Gamemaker and Game Salad to full programming environments like Flash and Java.

Channeling Kids Passion

Gamestar Mechanic is designed to tap into kids' natural passion for playing and making games to both build critical skills as well as a motivation to learn. When kids are motivated, they can move mountains. When they are not, it takes mountains to move them!
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire"
- William Butler Yeats