PODS Game Design began as an idea. Dave Binkard, a local college instructor, taught creative writing classes at College for Kids and Teens, a summer program held at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minnesota. In 2014, he had the idea of teaching a class in video game design. Initially, the class was offered for a maximum of forty students. However, the demand for the class was so much that enrollment was expanded again and again until 108 kids had registered! The demand for video game design classes showed that there was a need in the Fargo-Moorhead area for a more permanent presence and offering of classes. Thus, PODS Game Design was born.
We now offer several classes a month and have partnered with local schools to offer our classes on an after-school basis. In January 2016, we were the proud recipients of the Belief Award from Emerging Prairie for our dedication to foster the development of youth and technology.
What’s your name?
My name is Dave Binkard.
What’s your role with PODS Game Design?
I’m the Lead Instructor and Co-Owner of the business with my wife, Sammie.
What’s your favorite video game?
I’ve got two of them – Chrono Trigger for the Super Nintendo and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Both are fantastic games with really compelling stories!
You’re the Lead Instructor for PODS Game Design. What’s your teaching background?
I’ve taught college-level English for several years now. I started as a Teaching Assistant at Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2012 while earning my Master’s degree in Fine Arts: Creative Writing. Once I graduated in December, 2013, I moved on to teach dual-credit ITV classes for the North Dakota State College of Science. Teaching ITV classes to North Dakota high school students presents unique classroom environment that fascinates me! I have considerable experience teaching in the classroom, online, and through an ITV system.
I’ve also taught classes with MSUM’s College for Kids and Teens program. I’ve taught Adventures in Storytelling! and The Writing Writers, both creative writing classes aimed at children and teenagers, respectively, as well as Creating Video Games, the predecessor to our classes at PODS Game Design. In fact, a number of our first students at PODS were themselves graduates of that class!