ITE students take on evil hackers in computer game designed by their schoolmates

Students playing the Red Sentinels computer game. In it, students crack cases of internet fraud, defeat evil hacker characters, and defend TV networks from cyber attacks. -- PHOTO: ITE COLLEGE WEST
Students playing the Red Sentinels computer game. In it, students crack cases of internet fraud, defeat evil hacker characters, and defend TV networks from cyber attacks. -- PHOTO: ITE COLLEGE WEST

SINGAPORE - Cracking cases of internet fraud, defeating evil hacker characters, and defending TV networks from cyber attacks.

These are some tasks that infocomm students at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West have to tackle when they play computer game Red Sentinels in class each week.

It is all for education though.

The game is part of the syllabus for first-year students, who spend one hour per week playing it. This helps them learn skills like setting up computer networks, troubleshooting and building cables.

And the 30-episode, multiplayer game is an "in-house product" too: it was designed by 12 ITE College West students last year as part of a final-year project.

Tan Jian Jie, 19, who is one of the creators, said he created Red Sentinels to make learning more fun for the disengaged.

"I noticed that people didn't bother listening to their teachers much, especially when the material got dry. Hopefully this interactive game will interest them in learning again," said Mr Tan, who is studying engineering informatics at Nanyang Polytechnic.

ITE College West also launched a futuristic new classroom yesterday to cater to tech-savvy students.

Among other things, this 'iRoom' features workstations for students to engineer 3D games, and a touchscreen LED whiteboard that students can write on directly from mobile devices.

To 17-year-old networking and systems administration student Ekidana Lim, the innovations sound like an exciting step forward. "The iRoom will let us take control of our own learning, and make classes more fun. For teenagers like us who are involved with technology, it is right up our alley," he said.