My husband and his friend have been talking about creating their own video game. At first, this sounded like idle chit-chat, but more and more, the ideas have become more serious and more complex. The neat thing is that as my husband and his friend discuss their thoughts, our children feel empowered and keen to offer their own suggestions to the project. Many of their insights are based on their own experiences playing video games - they know what they like to play, what interests and engages them, and what would improve a game system. I'm being deliberately vague about the details because, if they actually do find a programmer or designer that could assist them, I'd hate for my loose lips to sink their ship. I think they want it to be bigger than something they themselves can create using Adventure Maker, Scratch or other game-making tools.
The funny thing is, just a few days ago, my director of education made a remark on Twitter about video games & technology and the impact on student focus/attention. If school could be more like a video game, I think my son would be more than delighted to go regularly. My little guy speaks most articulately when describing the characters in his games. He perseveres on challenging levels in games for much longer than he will tackle a math problem or social studies question. He watches and listens most attentively when he's observing or playing a video game. For an 8 year old to give valuable feedback to a pair of grown men planning a project ... I'll let you draw your own conclusions about focus.