A GAMING project has been launched at a Darwen school where people could have a go at creating their own version of the classic arcade game Space Invaders.

Students and staff at Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio (DAES), based in Police Street, launched a unique coding competition called Code Wars as part of the school’s most recent open evening.


The competition is designed to test budding gamers in using the tool Scratch to create their own version of the 1978 video game Space Invaders.

Principal Ruth Bradbury said she hopes the project will help students to develop their technical skills for careers in game design.

She said: “Creating video games is incredibly complex and requires a very technical brain to do it. I have been extremely impressed with the skills the students have shown in this project so far.

“It’s important that we nurture students and encourage them into different careers like this because the video games industry is so much more than just playing games.

“There’s the design, the coding, the marketing and so many other ways to be involved and we thought that rather than just have our students taking part we should open it up to the whole of Blackburn with Darwen because there are so many young people out there who are interested in video games.”

The winner of the competition will receive a Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer for children that aims to break the paradigm of them spending hundreds of pounds on a PC, so that they can access the internet.

DAES provides its students with computing lessons and they get the opportunity to have a go at game design at key stage four.

The students and young people who attended the launch received hints and tips on using Scratch from a games designer from Bolton University.

Lee Hollinghurst, a computer science teacher at the studio, said: “Lots of people were interested in the competition on the day which was great.

“The gaming industry is on the up at the moment and we want to get more young people involved in it as there are jobs being created all the time.”

Other high-tech related activities on offer for visitors during the evening were recording an ECG from your heart, seeing inside your eye with a specially-adapted iPhone, using an ultrasound machine and seeing how much air you can fit inside your lungs using a spirometer.

The Code Wars competition will run until early May and young people can get involved by visiting the school’s website. Visit www.daestudio.biz/code-wars-the-studio.