Tynan Toms is a Year 12 student with a clear plan that his future will involve Game Design.

“I grew up on ‘techy’ stuff, partly because my Dad runs the local audio-visual and data specialist business ‘Interactus’.

“It’s what makes me happy and I hope to go to Swinburne, to study Game Design & Computer Science or Game Design & Animation; to get the skills I need to work in the sector.”

For Tynan, ‘sport’ is going to a Dungeons and Dragons group once a week.

“I still think that people who enjoy this kind of thing are seen as nerds,” he says, “but critics don’t realise what they are missing out on.”

Tynan argues that even virtual worlds can teach skills that can be used in the real world.

“Playing Dungeons and Dragons we talk a lot with each other,” he says. “We learn how to develop a story in a collaborative way. We work as a team to solve riddles. We improvise, create characters and create worlds. Online games can teach strategies, problem solving, accuracy—and develop fast reflexes.”

However, being busy with studies and fascinated by gaming has not stopped Tynan thinking about deeper issues.

“War… I just don’t understand it,” he says. “It seems petty and I can’t see any reason someone should take another person’s life. I know there are supposed ‘reasons’ but those reasons don’t stack up for me at all.

“I realise it must seem strange that I think this when some of the games I play are full of violence. But I am usually playing because I like the story—or because I have had a bad day and just want to escape into a virtual world.

“I like it that real people don’t get hurt in that game world. And it’s good to know there are people who are working for peace in the real world.”

Asked what advice he would give his 12-year-old self, Tynan’s says: “Try not to take everything so seriously—I still sometimes do this—and when someone stabs you in the back, just let it go. Don’t let it ruin you. If I had done this a bit more it would have made a positive change over the past few years.”

In the meantime, Tynan is enjoying his time at BSSC. Happy with his subjects and teachers, he is also making the most of the new library. In fact, Tynan was recently an ‘extra’ in a photo shoot conducted by Y2 Architecture, the company that designed the new interior of the Alexander Wing.