Mobile Games Developed by Jordanian Students Age 14-16: An Update 2022


With the world in their hands, it’s no wonder that the younger generations are more engaged with technology than any other generation before them. A New study shows mobile phones use among kids has nearly doubled since 2015. Younger children’s access to technology is rising, with 19% of eight-year-olds having phones in 2019 (11% in 2015). The study found that 53 percent of kids has their smartphone by the time they turn 11, and by 12, that number jumps to 69 percent and will reach to 95% by 2025. So, technology has a stronghold on the younger generations, so we must find ways to utilize this to our advantage, especially in education. A great way to engage students in technology is by having them develop mobile games. It’s a fun and interactive way to learn, but it also allows students to apply the skills they learn in the real world. Such development teaches students essential skills in the digital era, such as problem-solving, collaboration, and critical thinking. In addition, students can share their games with friends, family and publish them on the App marketplace.

In 2011, the App Challenge was launched under the guidance of Jordan’s King Abdullah II Fund for Development to encourage young Jordanians to learn about emerging technologies. The program is designed for school students aged 14-16 interested in learning how to create and self-publish mobile games. It aims to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop mobile games. In addition, it allows them to publish their games on app stores such as the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

The program is typically structured as a series of workshops or classes, in which students are taught the basics of game development and design. This may include topics such as programming, graphics design, and sound design. The program may also cover topics such as project management and marketing, to help students understand the process of publishing and promoting their games.

Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to work on their own game projects, with guidance and support from instructors and mentors. They may also have the opportunity to participate in competitions or showcases, where they can showcase their games to a wider audience.

Overall, the App Challenge is a valuable opportunity for school students interested in game development to learn new skills and gain practical experience in the field. It can also provide a platform for students to showcase their work and potentially turn their passion for game development into a career.

TAC 2022

 The App Challenge is an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about the development process of mobile games. They will have a chance to design, create and publish their game. Participants learn about Unity development, art, game design, user experience, and business development. Creating marketable, profitable, and innovative mobile game applications is the ultimate goal of this competition. The competition aims to motivate Jordanian youth to unleash their creativity and energies in the digital field and direct them towards a knowledge economy that will benefit local communities, in addition to developing their skills in the field of designing and developing mobile applications. The idea of the competition is to form teams to participate in the development of mobile applications on predetermined topics, then these teams compete across the Kingdom according to announced evaluation criteria, and the winners are announced, where the winning applications are published and promoted. The winning teams are provided with funding up to 5,000 Jordanian dinars to complete and sustain their application, as well as to establish a mini gaming lab in their schools.

Flow of the competition: 



The annual competition schedule is announced in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Each school must assemble a team of 3-4 students and appoint a teacher to serve as a supervisor.

2-Orientation: Accepted students will participate in an orientation day, during which they will be introduced to the history of mobile video games, the latest technology, game design, and storytelling.

As part of the orientation, students will take a pop quiz and create an interactive game based on what they have learned. This allows the App Challenge team to evaluate the team’s skills, creativity, and attention to detail during the sessions.

 2-The training: 

The competition begins with a training program in which students are introduced to the basics of game development. This may include programming, graphics design, and sound design. The training program also covers important aspects of game design, such as mechanics, gameplay, and storytelling, as well as how to create marketing strategies.

After completing the training program, students are given the opportunity to work on their game projects for two months. During this time, they will have access to resources and support from instructors and mentors, to help them bring their game ideas to life.

To ensure that all game elements are the students’ original creations, the Maysalward team will verify that students have not copied or received external assistance in developing their games. Teams that do not meet these standards will be disqualified from the competition.

Developing mobile games requires students to consider several key factors:


  • Coming up with a strong game concept.
  • Determining the mechanics and functionality of the game.
  • Designing the graphics and creating a soundtrack.
  • Testing the game and making any necessary revisions.
  • Submitting original work that demonstrates their learning from the training course.

Students need to keep these elements in mind as they work on their game projects.


Teams that pass the initial screening will attend a training session on how to present and pitch their game ideas. They will be given a budget of $70 for presentation and marketing materials to be used on pitching day. Students will be required to submit an expense report on their assessment day.

This process helps students learn how to budget and manage their money effectively.


3- Pitching Day:


The competition allows students to display their skills and creativity to a panel of industry experts. Students will present their projects to the jury panel without the presence of their teachers, allowing them to share their thoughts and experiences without any external pressure.

Throughout the course, students are taught the best practices for pitching but are not directed toward a specific approach. They are free to choose the most effective way to showcase their project, using tools such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, and even dramatic performances. This allows students to express themselves and their ideas independently and fully.


Teams are given 5 minutes to present their projects, followed by 15 minutes for questions and discussion with the jury panel. Based on the competition criteria, the panel follows a standardized evaluation process, using a scoresheet prepared by the King Abdullah II for Development and Maysalward teams.


The competition winners are announced annually at the Annual Pocket Gamers Connection Jordan Gaming Summit, hosted by the Jordan Gaming Lab and the Jordan Task Force. The top projects are showcased to the audience before the winners are revealed.

In the early years of the App Challenge, the winning projects were even presented in the presence of His Majesty the King of Jordan. He personally awarded the winning teams.


The winning teams will each receive $5,000 to establish a mobile gaming lab at their school. These non-personal awards encourage students to engage in community service and share their achievements with their classmates for years to come.

In addition, the teams in the top three positions and their teachers will receive personal prizes such as smartphones or tablets.



Post App Challenge and Support 



The Jordan Gaming Lab, which operates in six cities, including Amman, Irbid, Aqaba, Karak, Zarka, and Maan, is a non-profit project managed by King Abdullah II for Development in partnership with the Maysalward Team. It has supported Jordanian game developers since 2011 with technical support and resources.

Students who complete the App Challenge are followed up on by the Jordan Gaming Lab to ensure that they continue to progress in their game development. Participating teachers are also invited to join the Jordan Gaming Lab’s Training of Trainers (TOT) program, which aims to help teachers build their game development skills to run similar workshops in their schools and communities.

Game projects developed through the competition are published to the app store by the gaming lab, and students have complete control over updates and maintenance of their games.



Google Play:

App store:

Jordan’s future will be driven by the talents and potential of its young people. The App Challenge helps the Maysalward team stay up-to-date on the latest mobile video game technology. Our goal is to provide a top-quality gaming experience for a tech-savvy generation that already has a strong foundation in technology and is passionate about mobile gaming.


In recognition of his contributions, Nour KHRAIS has been listed as an Associate Editor in the International Journal Associate’s Volume 10, Issue 3-4: Technologies in Education. His paper, “Engaging Students: Designing Mobile Phone Applications in Jordanian Schools,” was presented at the Eleventh International Conference on Technology, Knowledge, and Society at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015, with a theme of Big Data and the Politics of Participation in a Digital Age.”


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