Today our group went to Digipen. Digipen is a college of technology and fine art located in Redmond, which is geared towards game design and programing. When we arrived there, we got our passes before proceeding to a nicely furnished lobby. We took a short tour of the building, watching people working and taking classes, while learning about how the school works, and what the students do. Digipen recently bought a series of apartments down the street, providing new dorms for students who go there. Though the school doesn’t have any sports, they do have a unique activity twice a year: Zombie Apocalypse, in which some of the students are “infected”, where they run around trying to get everyone else. Other non-infected students would have nerf guns, and try to survive as long as they can.
The school has a variety of clubs, from the long-running Pokémon club, to the zombie Apocalypse club, to the game testing club. The game testing club plays a large role in the school, for everyone has to make at least one game during their time at the school. Their gaming has gone a long way in the world, such as the largely loved Portal, which started as a student test game which was loved by a company at a competition.
Digipen teaches many things about computer sciences, the two major things they teach are fine arts (For game backgrounds, characters, graphics, etc.) to computer programing (Game making, robotics, website design, etc.) We took a small one hour class after lunch on building robots. We had used a kit with just screws and bolts before, but this was the real thing. We took something called a breadboard, which was just a little plastic box filled with holes. We got into pairs and tried to connect little parts around the breadboard with tiny little wires that plugged into the holes. Our goal was to make it so that when we flipped a switch, it would make this car robot go until it got near a wall, upon which it would stop. Only a few groups were able to make that work, but in the end, most people weren’t able to finish it.
After that, we went back to the busses to go back to Overlake. We arrived shortly after 2:00; and half of the group went on a hike, while the other half stayed by the flagpole and talked. We also received little goodie bags from Digipen, which contained information on their programs as well as summer camps.