Maine teenager wins $ 98,000 college scholarship for video game design

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CARMEL, ME (WABI) – For some children, video games can be a distraction from school. But for a teenager from Carmel, a play hobby turned into his ticket to college.

Daniel Brower played his first video game with his father when he was only three years old. It wasn’t long before he knew he wanted to make a career out of it.

“It was really probably when I was in fourth or fifth grade when I played this game of making games,” Daniel said. “It just inspired me. I was like, ‘I want to do this.’ “

“I’ve heard many times, you know, ‘You shouldn’t let him sit in front of the computer! “,” Said Melodie Brower. “But I always felt like he was learning and doing good things. We certainly kept an eye on what he was doing online. No violent video games or anything like that, but he was still learning. “

Daniel set his dream in motion. He attended the Maine School of Science in Mathematics in Limestone, where he took his first video game design course. He compares MSSM to a first university experience, as he was able to choose many of his own courses and live in a dormitory.

When it came to college, Daniel had only one choice: Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. It was the only school he applied to, and when the time to decide came, the nerves kicked in.

“I [was] panicking all day because the letters of acceptance [were] will be out at 5:00 pm online, ”said Daniel. “I opened it. I was like, ‘Yes!’ My sleeping child woke up on the couch and I went to get him, and he started screaming in fear. But it was funny. “

Despite the cry, Daniel’s brothers Logan and Henry are very proud. His parents too.

“Daniel got the acceptance letter, and he read it, and he said, ‘I came in! “Melodie said.” And I looked at him, and I kept reading, and he said, “You got accepted with $ 98,000.” That part was really exciting. He hadn’t even noticed. He just saw he walked in, but the mother in me was thinking, ‘Oh well, that’ll help!’ “

WPI launched one of the country’s first gaming programs and, according to The Princeton Review, one of the best.

He has something else: a special bond with Daniel’s family.

“My great-grandfather, he applied to WPI and went into it,” Daniel said. “It was also the school of his dreams. I don’t believe it was for game design at the time, but before he could attend, this summer he was drafted into the military for WWII. He found himself in so many battlefields. He came home, but couldn’t attend WPI because the war hampered him.

Frank Gadomski, his great-grandfather, passed away last July, a few months before Daniel’s acceptance. Yet Ben Brower, Frank’s grandson and Daniel’s father, knows it would have meant a lot to him.

“He wouldn’t let anyone know, but he would be super proud,” said Ben Brower. “He was super proud of his whole family, but he was a pretty quiet guy, a stoic grandpa, you know?” He loved us all and he would have been super excited for Daniel.

Daniel says he’s thrilled to have the opportunity to live out both his great-grandfather’s dream and his own.

“Really, the dream is just to start my own video game design business. The dream is to be an independent developer. Be the next Markus Persson, the next Derek Yu.

And the first Daniel Brower.

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