By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - Games like Call of Duty, Mortal Combat and Grand Theft Auto have given video games a bad rap.
But at Spencer High School's Magnet Academy of Computer Science and Electronic Gaming Design, video games are anything but violent.
"You're a white blood cell and you have to fight off germs," freshman Brittney Green says.
Green's game "Attack of the Virus," players try and keep character Henry alive by fighting off evil viruses.
"There are viruses at certain points and you can't touch the blood cells because they are good and you don't want to eat the good stuff," Green says.
Not only are the games educational, but building the game requires students to use several math concepts.
"A lot of adding and subtracting, a lot of randoms , what's the possibility of this and this," junior Tyreke Tanner says.
Right now there are 85 students enrolled in the magnet program at Spencer. Students take up to 8 classes that deal with computing in the modern world, web page design and programming.
"It's a wonderful magnet because they will have career opportunities immediately. Once they graduate from high school they will know how to program in Java which is our local companies like Aflac and TSYS would appreciate that skill," Magnet Coordinator Dolly Baker says.
The magnet students also have a chance to take their games to elementary school children.
"To teach them how to add, subtract, their colors, put their shapes together," Baker says.
"There are so many violent video games out there so we hope educational games can help them choose the right over the wrong," Sophomore Miquel Allen says.
The magnet students at Spencer have competed in an international simulation and gaming competition over the past few years, coming in second place this year.
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