You maybe think a game is just a waste of time, and that it’s nothing to be passionate about. But 25-year-old Prak Robin might just prove you wrong.
“Game designing is not tough for me, and it’s a fun job,” he said, speaking from his office at a leading Japanese game development company in Cambodia: Digital Works.
Prak Robin is a fresh graduate of the Royal University of Fine Arts with a major in architecture. He is now one of the most outstanding young game designers at Digital Works Khmer, a company characterised by a convergence of talent and creativity.
After failing the year-nine national exam, back when he spent all his time on videogames, Prak Robin was motivated to improve. He grabbed what seemed like a mountain of self-study books and stayed buried, analysing and reading critically until he caught up – and eventually surpassed his peers.
“I started reading self-motivation books, too, even Dhama books. I never felt regret [about failing the exam] and I said, ‘never give up’ to myself.”
Although Prak Robin kept studying hard, he still managed to fit in some time for videogames along the way.
“Video games can actually be educational,” he said.
“They might be about historical issues or be about real conflict, so it makes you use problem solving skills.”
Today, Prak Robin and his colleagues are creating games that encode Japanese historical events. By doing this, he said, Prak Robin is still learning new things every-day.
He recollects that in the past, when the games were mostly centered on Europe and the West, why none were set in Cambodia.
“Actually we have a lot of history that could make for good videogames,” he explained.
“Young people here do like to play videogames, so I think that making some games set in Cambodia is a great idea.”
And that’s why Prak Robin is currently researching Khmer war history to set the stage for a perfect videogame. He wants to combine combat from the past with modern technology to provide both entertainment and education.
One idea he’s had so far is to create a videogame around war in the time of ancient Jayavarman VII.
“I don’t want Cambodians to learn other histories from videogames anymore,” he said.
“I want to share Khmer history so that they might learn something about our own country while gamers are having fun playing.”
Prak Robin hopes that in the near future, he’ll have finished designing Khmer history-based videogames for his fellow Cambodians.
“Games are not bad for us, you just need to make sure you don’t spend too much time playing.”