There are kids who like to do more than just play their video games. Some like to create their own.

For those enrolled at the iD Tech Camp at Arizona State University, learning how to design games may be the first step toward a career in the field.

Each camp lasts one week and students are broken up into groups depending on their knowledge level and what type of game, or modification to a current game, they want to work on. Possibilities range from iPad and iPhone game design to side-scrolling adventure games, to an introduction in C++ or Java, popular programming languages.

For the younger kids, they start out with instruction on "if/then" software.

"We teach them if your character on screen does this, then what do you want them to do?" director Clay Patterson said. "The if/then concepts really build their knowledge of creating games."

There are four skill levels which the students can fall under: Basic, intermediate, novice and advanced. Students like Ahwatukee Foothills resident Ethan Billar, 8, are working at the basic level but still seeing the results on screen. They use a program called Multimedia Fushion Developer, which Patterson said is great for their learning curve.

"It's cool because I got to put Mario into the game and make him fight the bad guys," Billar said.

Popular games like Starcraft 2 and Unreal Tournament are the subject of modification for the older students. Those enrolled in that area learn how to use modification software to develop their own maps and change different areas of the game.

"I play Starcraft and I thought it would be cool to change what types of minerals a player can mine for," Ahwatukee Foothills resident Dayton Burgess, 13, said.

There are four weeks left for the iD Tech Camps. Prices range from $699 to $799 for the full week. To find out more, visit

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