AUSTIN-- There's unique camp going on in Central Texas this summer that can help turn a video game habit into a possible career.
It's called iD Tech.
It may look like the kids are just playing games, but at St. Edward’s University students are learning the science behind what they see on screen.
"I'm creating basically a mini-game on it," said 12-year-old Zachary Routh. "After I started playing Mine Craft I realized it was made with Java. So now I'm trying to learn Java," he said.
That's exactly the kind of computer programming these students learn. Designed for children 7 to 17, these week-long camps teach students everything from video game design to animation to app programming.
Behind all the screen time is a lot of science.
"Mine Craft is also modible, which means people can program different things into it so that eventually it will have a different outcome. So I think a lot of these mods are very educational," said Routh.
Anyone who doubts this camp teaches kids anything valuable need only look at some of the counselors.
"I went to this camp three separate years," said John Handley, whose now studying computer science at Baylor University.
"I know college kids that don't understand Java, like they took it and then they couldn't do it so they switched to a different major. So seeing kids that can get it, is pretty crazy," said Handley.
Each student leaves camp with a project they've created, a game of sorts, to take home and share with family and friends.
"I'll be able to take it home put it on a server so multiple people can play on it or play it by myself," said Routh.
Lily O'Neil is 8-years-old and one of the only girls at this year’s camp.
"I’m creating a space game, a ship game, you have to fight the aliens that are taking over the world," she said.
For O’Neil this is a fun summer learning experience, but for many others this is a chance to turn a favorite past time into a possible career.
"I could see myself coding," said Routh.
In one week this camp provides evidence that a lot of productive things can come out of spending all that time on a computer.
"It's a really fun camp,” said Routh.
iD tech has been around for 15 years and is hosted at many prestigious universities across the country including the Univeristy of Texas at Austin and St. Edwards.
It costs about $800 for a week, but there are scholarships.
To learn more about the camp and get put on a waiting list for next summer go here.