Hi! I’m Austin Lee, a first year Game Design and Development student, currently studying at Wilfrid Laurier University. I’ve always considered myself to be a gamer, my first being Star Wars Battlefront II on the PlayStation 2. I can still remember waking up especially early on Saturdays and Sundays to sneak in a few matches with my brother before breakfast, or teaching my sister the best Webkinz minigames in my free time.

The Game Design and Development program at Wilfrid Laurier University is still very much on its starting legs, having only 2 cohorts and ~60 students. That being said, each one of us is immensely passionate about the field of Game Design, and I eagerly look forward to my four years here. I am expecting to graduate in 2020. Already through this first semester and year, I have attained many valuable assets and knowledge, and I hope to add more through work experiences.

Within the Game Design classes, I have picked up useful tools such as:

The Csikszentmihalyi flow model, a relationship between player skill and game difficulty
Bloom’s Taxonomy, helping to strengthen the way a game can teach by emphasizing player action, as opposed to player memory

as well as various methods and tactics to engage players, and ultimately convey a message. As our professor Scott Nicholson says, we’re making games to change the world.

I’ve also picked up valuable assets from my other courses, ranging from numerous leadership skills and techniques, to tactics in engaging players through cross-media storytelling, and I’ve even picked up a little introduction to sound design and 2D graphic design.

With regards to the name “Make Belief Games”, has a bit of a satirical reference. I’ve been a lifelong citizen of Canada, specifically Toronto. Traditionally, the performance of Toronto’s hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, has never been very strong, save for a few years. Over time, this led to the team’s old stadium, the Maple Leaf Gardens, to gain the ire of fans and was jokingly called the “Make Believe Gardens” from time to time, poking fun at the team. While I’ve never been much of a hockey fan (baseball is more my sport), I feel that the name both suits my love for this country, and represents a strength of games: to create a world of make believe.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at mbgamescanada@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you!

-Austin Lee