Students at a city high school were treated to a talk with one of Dundee’s most successful game developers.
Chris van der Kuyl headed to Grove Academy to talk about his illustrious game development career and inspire pupils to think about carving out their own future in the digital industry.
Chris, the co-founder of Dundee based 4J Studios, rose to prominence after developing Minecraft for consoles and hand held devices.
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During his talk with S2, S3 and S5 pupils, Chris explained that sticking in at school and doing your own research would help the digitally driven pupils in the computing sector.
S3 pupil Ella Matthews is the chief digital ambassador at the school and said the talk by Chris was inspiring.
“I am from Dundee and to be honest you don’t see many really successful people from the area so it was really inspirational to have Chris here and explaining how he started off his career and what we can do to create a digital or computing career,” she said.
“One of the main things he mentioned was that you have to take your own initiative and he explained that you don’t need to be afraid to ask questions or ask for help as that is how you gain more knowledge.”
Fellow digital ambassador Melissa Forrest, also 14, added: “What was really inspiring is that he pointed out how not many people have these kinds of careers and even fewer of those people are females.
“He was really encouraging us to go for it and stick in and school. It was so inspirational.”
Grove’s principal teacher of computing, Gavin Pyott, said it was ‘fantastic’ to have Chris’s input when encouraging pupils to take an interest in computing and showed the students that there were many different avenues in digital that they could explore.
He said: “It is really important to have people like Chris come in to school and encourage pupils to come in to computing in ways that we couldn’t and show you can actually have a really successful career.
“He managed to get across to pupils that it really was important to stick in at school in a way that actually inspired the pupils, even though we tell them all the time.
“However Chris is a real life example of someone from Dundee who went on to be massively successful and shared with the pupils that the real life skills that they are learning here at school are what people in the industry are looking for.
“It was fantastic that Chris was able to take the time out of his schedule and spend the morning with our pupils with a massive thanks going to teacher Kiran Oza who organised the whole day.”