Gamer Dev Jam draws a crowd

WHERE AM I?: Niamh O'Duibhir of Merimbula sporting a virtual reality headset, which presents a game that requires her to run through a maze while being chased.

WHERE AM I?: Niamh O'Duibhir of Merimbula sporting a virtual reality headset, which presents a game that requires her to run through a maze while being chased.

​For the second year running the Gamer Dev Jam at Merimbula has proved a success.

Curious minds, both young and old, gathered at the Bega Valley Regional Learning Centre on Saturday and Sunday to create and experiment with gaming software.

Organiser Chris Bateman said nothing like Gamer Dev Jam had occurred in the Far South Coast to the size and consistency that was present at the weekend.

“​When I was growing up here I didn’t have this. I didn’t have a community like this,” Mr Bateman said.

“If i wanted to do engage in IT I had to think about travelling to Canberra or Sydney and this became apparent later in high school.

“I would think that my IT career isn’t down here, it’s in Canberra or Sydney. But now I see a career in IT down here and all these kids now have a choice, be it in coding or as a graphic designer, or as a musician.”

The former Lumen Christi Catholic College student said the idea behind Gamer Dev Jam was to present a potential career path for younger people.

“Parents are saying how if they’re kids want to venture into IT they have to travel up to Canberra to attend events, but we’re telling them that they now exist in their own backyard.”

On Saturday attendees started by pitching their game designs and networking in small teams, before designing their concepts.

Some teams worked late into the night before returning on Sunday to present their final products.

“We wanted to make it more fun and interactive,” Mr Bateman said.

“Teaching kids how to write a business application is boring, but when you present them with a virtual reality (VR) headset they’re having the time of their life.”

Meanwhile the Eden Game Development Centre had a successful launch on Friday night at the Eden Community Access Centre.

Rooms and corridors swelled as people of all ages checked out what was on offer, with the VR station proving the most popular.

Access centre chairperson Peter Skelton officially opened the event, cutting a virtual ribbon with his virtual scissors.

The EGDC will hold regular workshop sessions starting Monday, October 16.

Adult sessions will run from 1.30pm to 3.30pm and after school session from 4pm to 6pm.