February 9th, 2018
Winners of the CGTrader Scholarship 2017 announced
Last year, CGTrader invited students from around the world to take a look at how games could be used for social good and playful learning. Our staff had a wonderful time reading their essays and voting for the best ones. We want to thank everyone for participating and congratulate Allison Smith, a student from Medical Lake High School, on winning first place and the $2,000 scholarship with her essay.
Runners-up Gregory Welsh from Villanova University and Brianna Bejune from Yucaipa High School took second and third place, respectively, and earned $500 each to help them with their education.
We kindly invite you to read Allison's winning essay below.
Using games for social good and playful learning
by Allison Smith, CGTrader Scholarship winner
For centuries, children have played games to entertain themselves. These games include tag, soccer, hearts, chess, and many others. When the technology became widely available, children also began playing games such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, and various other video or computer games. With the rising popularity of video and computer games, many parents and people in authority began to worry that children were becoming less social, less healthy, and less smart. Many believed that games were pointless. However, that is not necessarily the case. Games do help children socialize and learn in a safe, fun environment.
Games in any form encourage children to socialize with each other. It's often more enjoyable to play games with others, and some games are impossible to play alone, so children will find others to play with. Many friendships can be formed on a playground while playing tag or around a table during a game of Uno. Additionally, games encourage children to be a little braver and bolder than they normally would be. With all the excitement of running around, fighting virtual enemies, or simply near victory, children tend to lose some of their reservations and even the most shy child can form a few bonds with others, if only over a few good memories of playing together.
In addition to helping children make friends, games help young people learn many lessons. Physical games such as soccer and tag teach children to enjoy physical activity and hard work. They also learn that exertion can be incredibly rewarding. Though physical prowess definitely isn't required for all games, board games, card games and video games all teach children strategy. Chess, cribbage, and most video games let children experiment with planning and using what they have, so that later in life, they might be able to do the same with career goals, financial situations, and other adverse circumstances. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, playing games helps children learn how to win and lose. Friendly games give children the opportunity to learn the joy of winning and to learn that everyone loses eventually in a place where the stakes are very low. This allows them to accept some defeats later in life while also teaching them that the best way to win is to work hard and improve. In this, children also learn about how work ethic and talent can be combined to promote success. All of these lessons are incredibly important, and games allow children to learn them together in a safe, enjoyable way.
Games of all types allow children to socialize and learn. Contrary to the beliefs of some, they are not pointless. Even the simplest games played by toddlers help children to grow into sociable, intelligent young adults. Games promote socialization and encourage students to learn outside of a classroom. So, regardless of whether a game is played online, in front of a television, on a table, or outside, games are all beneficial to children. Children should continue to play, just as they have for centuries.
Winner of the CGTrader Scholarship – Allison Smith
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