VICTORVILLE — State Assemblyman Jay Obernolte recently visited Victor Valley High School to congratulate a group of students who placed in a national video game design competition.
Obernolte, a Republican from Big Bear representing the 33rd Assembly District (which includes Victorville) is no stranger to the field of game design, founding his own video game company in 1988.
Obernolte was invited to tour Victor Valley High School’s wide array of Career Technical Education courses, and his first stop was teacher Denise Roderick’s video game design class. Three of the students — Eric LaMar, Christopher Henry and Johnathan Andrade — recently won third place in the STEM Fuse game design competition for their game “Heist.”
Officials from the Victor Valley Union High School District were on hand along with VVHS Principal Nancy Noyer as Obernolte presented certificates of recognition to the students and Roderick.
Obernolte spoke about some of the games he had worked on over the years, from titles for the Sega Genesis in the 1990s to the new material his company plans to develop for the new Nintendo Switch. He also gave some advice for students who might want to break into the field.
“The best advice I can give you is to get a four-year college degree,” Obernolte said.
The Assemblyman said there’s nothing wrong with specialized game design schools, but broader university degrees will give students more flexibility.
LaMar, Henry and Andrade’s game centers around a thief trying to escape to his hideout. It was one of several games designed for the competition by Roderick’s students. Visit http://arcade.stemfuse.com/got-game-entries to play the games, which include “Elysium,” “Zombie Run” and “Exclusive Dating Sim” in addition to “Heist.”
“It was an honor to have Assemblyman Obernolte experience not only the video game design program but the other excellent career technical education options at Victor Valley High School,” VVUHSD Superintendent Dr. Ron Williams said. “And it was no doubt a memorable experience for our students to hear from a real-life game developer!”
Photo Caption: From left to right, Victor Valley High School Principal Nancy Noyer, student Johnathan Andrade, teacher Denise Roderick, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, student Eric LaMar, student Christopher Henry, Victor Valley Union High School District Board Member Jose Berrios and VVUHSD Superintendent Dr. Ron Williams. Obernolte recognized the students for placing in a national video game design competition.