For Dennis Elias, it all began when he was just 2-years-old. His earliest memory is one of him playing solitaire on his neighbor’s computer, while seated on his mother’s lap. He was only 2-years-old then and he believes that that experience has had a deep impact on him. Growing up, Dennis was fascinated with the world of video games, starting on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and then on a PC that had barely 16MB of RAM. While most of his friends lost their interest in the games over the years, Dennis’ had other plans. In high school, he began doing his research on the video game industry and decided to pursue a career in game design.
It has not been easy for him, Dennis says, “Since video games are largely considered a waste of time by most people, it was difficult to make them understand that becoming a video game designer is a viable career option.” he admits that he thankfully had the fortune of having supportive parents and they helped him to tune out all the noise from the society which usually pushes people into doing things they have no interest in. Dennis’ approach to these questions is very different. His opinion is that video games have the power to make otherwise mundane learning into an engaging fun activity.. He believes that we are so focused on proving that video games are bad that we ignore the positive aspects of it and how it can be used where traditional teaching methods have failed.
“The most important thing to realize about your failures is, no matter how horrible it feels, if you don’t let them, they will not define who you are.”
On asking him if treading the unknown path scared him he says that while most his teenage friends decided to give up their prime learning years trying to secure a seat in the premier IIT or AIIMS it was never never something that enticed Dennis. Though the chances of making it into an industry such as game design were slim, he never questioned whether he was cut out for such a novel pursuit. To Dennis, the idea of someone else playing something he helped create, and enjoying themselves was indescribable.
Following his passion, Dennis joined for a course in B.Sc in Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics and further pursued his Masters in Game Design from Brunel University, London. Dennis looks up to Hideo Kojima and Shigeru Miyamoto, the creators of the Metal Gear series and Super Mario series as his inspirations. With the rise of educational games which aim to gamify learning having being received well by the consumers the growth of NammaLore Entertainment, the company that Dennis works for, can be largely attributed to the rise in demand for educational products which are tailored to the needs of a single learner. Dennis has helped the company secure funding through the designs he came up with although he acknowledges that he has miles to go. It goes on to show how video games, when utilized in a different light can make a huge difference in the way we learn in the future.