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Digital Technologies

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Design an arcade game

Arcade games have been around since the early 1900s. Early games included ball-toss games and shooting galleries. As technology advanced, games improved with pinball machines and later, video games. Pac man and Space invaders were two popular arcade video games.

Amusement arcades had a variety of games including ‘skill with prize’ games where the player won a prize based on their skill for example claw crane.

The Competition

Get involved in our Arcade Game competition while you are learning at home. Students are invited to create an arcade game, film the game in use and submit their videos to be in the running to win some great prizes. The competition is offered in two sections; one for primary-aged students (aged 5-12), the other for secondary-aged students (aged 13-17).

Create an arcade game. Your game needs to:

  • involve skill and chance
  • include a scoring system

Your game could:

  • be constructed from recycled materials, adhesives such as sticky tape and non-toxic glue, stiff cardboard, corflute, plywood, marbles, string and other craft materials, or
  • include electronic microcontroller boards and electrical components such as LEDs
  • be digitally created using a computer program, for example Scratch , Tynker , Stencyl , Ruby or other programming environments, such as TaleBlazer .

If you are interested in learning about video game mechanics view this clip on the design process that Nintendo used when designing some of their games

Here is a tutorial for Scratch game play. You can use the same ideas across other programming environments. Refer to programming cards.

You may want to get some ideas here for an arcade game using recycled materials.

Do an Internet search of DIY cardboard arcade games for some inspiration.

Safety: Tools are used safely under adult supervision.

The Promotion commences at 9 a.m. on 27 April 2020 and entries close at 5 p.m. on 15 June 2020 (AEST).

Videos to be sent via Facebook Messenger by a family member aged 18+. DT Hub will then upload the entries to their Facebook page.


There will be 3 prizes in each age group.

  • 1st prize

  • $300 JB Hi-Fi gift voucher

  • 2nd prize

  • $150 JB Hi-Fi gift voucher

  • 3rd prize

  • $150 JB Hi-Fi gift voucher

The winners will be notified via Facebook Messenger before 11am on 19 June 2020. The prize winners will be required to respond to this message/email before 11am on 3 July 2020.

Terms and Conditions

  • The video should be no longer than 2 minutes, from start to finish.
  • The aim of the game should be included together with a title of the game.
  • The game must incorporate skill and chance as well as a scoring system.
  • The game must have a finished look and be visually appealing.
  • It can include sound effects.
  • The game must be your own work.
  • No premade games to be used.
  • Contestants should obscure all logos or names.
  • Contain or use no hazardous materials or explosives within the machine.
  • Include no people except the hand of the person starting the series of events (show no faces).
  • Videos cannot use any copyrighted music. If copyrighted music is used the video will be rejected.

Full terms and conditions from ESA’s legal team attached here.