Promoting Gaming and Game Design as the Skills of the Future...For Everyone

Interview date:

April 16, 2020

JP van Seventer

Business Development Executive
Dutch Game Garden

JP van Seventer, Managing Director of Dutch Game Garden in The Netherlands, explains his work helping gaming startups and independent game developers create successful companies. JP provides an overview of the study paths and career opportunities available for kids interested in working in the gaming industry. He also gives specific advice on the game design and coding activities kids can do to prepare for a career in the gaming industry (and possibly even earn enough money to pay for college or university).

"There's lots of great software you can get started with. Scratch is a wonderful example of getting started with the basics of programming and interactivity and games. GameMaker is a tool you should look at. I know a lot of professionals who started as teenagers with GameMaker. If you like 3D, you can start with SketchUp. "SketchUp is a great program to learn 3D basics. You can even print 3D models out of it. Then there's Blendr 3D which is a little higher level but it's also very possible for a teenager to make amazing stuff in Blender. But you can also start with Super Mario Maker. Build levels for Mario. There are so many tools out there now that you can use today to start playing around. By the time you're old enough to go to school for a game program, it's really good to have stuff in your portfolio. I know students who've paid for the college by building Roblox levels."


  • expose kids to game design in the context of storytelling, problem-solving & tactical decision-making
  • encourage kids who game to design and code their own games
  • see game design as a skill which is useful for fields and jobs outside of the gaming industry


  • Scratch: block-based visual programming language and website
  • Minecraft: video game in which players create and break apart various kinds of blocks in three-dimensional worlds
  • SketchUp: 3D modeling computer program
  • GameMaker: cross-platform game development technology
  • Blender: free and open source 3D creation software
  • Roblox: online game platform and game creation system
  • Super Mario Maker: side-scrolling platform game and game creation system