On October 7, Mansfield fifth and sixth graders were privileged to have Mr. Jim Gage as a guest presenter for Mrs. Kandis Howard’s science classes. Mr. Gage is a Mansfield alumni and was a classmate of Mrs. Howard’s for all 13 years of school. He currently lives in Austin, Texas where he works for Retro Studios which is part of the gaming industry’s giant company Nintendo, which is based in Japan.
Despite the enormity of Nintendo and like companies’ success, the gaming industry actually holds a very narrow field of career opportunities. There are only 80 employees that actually work for Retro Studios and approximately 30,000 people in the industry within all of North America. Mr. Gage is living out his childhood dream of becoming a video game creator where he is a lead engineer. He has worked on the following games during his career: Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2 Echoes, Metroid Prime 3 Corruption, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, and Mario Kart.
Mr. Gage did an awesome job driving home the importance of getting a good education, going over in detail how each of part of education contributes to qualifications needed to be a game engineer/designer. He also emphasized building creativity and gave the kids some ideas for activities and websites that would be useful to them if they were considering going into any field that would require engineering, programming, audio, art, and design.
His story of fulfilling his dream was a living testimony to the kids to never let go of their dreams despite adversities that may get in their way. Mr. Gage encouraged them all to keep working hard and be persistent. He also gave a special emphasis on the fact that despite society’s traditional way of thinking, girls are just as capable in the areas of math and science. His motivating presentation left Mansfield with some very excited kids with big dreams…and a plan of action for which to accomplish those dreams.