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This coder wants to create the next generation of video games

Heather Brown didn’t feel like she fit in, until she discovered a new passion: video game design.

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Entering high school, Heather Brown never quite felt like she fit in. She never thought she’d get her foot in the door of the STEM world — in fact, she was ready to give up math entirely. But she loved video games and playing with her family. Never did she think that she would someday combine her love of gaming and her desire to create her own video game.

Soon a friend encouraged her to take a video design game class; she then met video game designer David Conover and joined his innovative Serious Game Design program at Connally High School, in North Austin, Texas. Conover teaches at-risk students how to solve real world problems using video game design and computer science. It was here that she realized she didn’t need to quit — she found the people, the ideas, and the education to push her passion for gaming to new levels.

What is Brown up to now? Her newest design, using IBM Watson technology to build a video game that teaches math to young kids — helping them in the area that she herself once struggled with. Now with her newfound knowledge and confidence, and the help of her teacher, Brown aspires to become an independent game developer after college. “I want to create the next level of games,” she says. “Not only just entertaining [games], but inspirational, too.” Watch Brown’s story as she discovers coding, and herself.

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