First annual CRAFTmas tournament teaches skills, healthy competition

STEM

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Minecraft and Christmas? It may sound like an unusual combination, but it’s one that played out well for the Video Game Design Club.

Kids and a few adults competed in the first annual CRAFTmas tournament in early December, with their eyes on a prize – Cash!

No matter what device the competitors used, they were building more than just something creative; Lead Instructor Carl Holden said they were building real life skills.

“There’s very few places that kids can take their skills at video games and compete against each other,” Holden said. “Competition is always healthy for anyone and this is a great way to take that creativity and put in a short period of time which is very much what video game design is.”

Aiden, who’s only 10 years old and a really big fan of the game, says he woke up ready to compete.

“I basically felt like I would actually bomb this, like be really good at it, and only time will tell.”

Not only does the Video Game Design Club have room to grow in the Invention to Innovation Center, but teachers have invited Holden into local elementary schools to talk about the group. He wants to go to more schools in the future, too.

“We go to different elementary schools and talk about game design as an industry and how those skills can then be presented in other opportunities such as marketing or coding.”

Holden says the event was not only a chance for healthy competition, but it was teaching kids about the design process.

“There’s very few places that kids can take their skills at video games and compete against each other and competition is always healthy for anyone and this is a great way to take that creativity and put in a short period of time which is very much what video game design is.”

The group meets throughout the year on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights from 6-8 p.m. Parents can enroll their kids online and follow the organization on Facebook to stay updated on upcoming events.

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