BEIJING -- The US chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has announced the China launch of Activate!, an interactive website that allows children to easily design and program video games.
Dandelion Middle School for migrant children in Beijing is the first in the country to deploy the website.
Children aged 13 to 15 are the primary target of Activate! It is accessed through the school's Intranet. The website teaches youngsters to design games using a specially developed computer tool.
It contains tutorials for making games. Four workshops, each designed to last one week, are now under way at the school.
Instructors from Parsons The New School for Design are conducting the workshops. It is estimated about 480 students will take part.
Karen Guo, senior vice-president and president, AMD Greater China, said the program at the Dandelion Middle School was 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.
She said China was an important market for AMD and the program at Dandelion Middle School represented the first deployment of AMD's signature initiative, AMD Changing the Game.
The initiative is designed to help improve children's critical science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills. It aims to make youngsters more globally conscious citizens and inspire teens to create digital games on important social issues, such as energy or the environment, the company said.
As part of this project, AMD also donated 30 Founder systems based on AMD Athlon II X3 425 processors to install in a technology laboratory at the school.
"Youth game development is an important learning vehicle around the globe, and we are thrilled to be able to translate and broaden the availability of Activate! to students in China," said Allyson Peerman, president of AMD Foundation. "
Peerman said Activate! was a key tool to expand AMD Changing the Game and said she hoped the project signaled the beginning of a deeper collaboration with Chinese partners to advance youth game development.
Since its launch in June 2008, AMD Changing the Game has funded 18 programs by organizations that enable youth game development. The Foundation also funds the AMD Employee Giving Program, which supports AMD employees' community interests by matching their personal donations of time and money to local organizations, schools and disaster relief efforts.