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Last week, Gameheads offered game design training to 28 students at East Bay Innovation Academy as a part of their 2017 Intersession workshop series. Our middle school instructor, Hope Lehman, spent the week training students using Scratch and GameSalad to create culturally relevant video games, and we were thrilled with the entire experience.

 

During the week, we let the students play some of our favorite indie games such as Journey, Flower and Papo & Yo. We also had one of our veteran students drop in to showcase the award-winning title, Amnesiacs, and students got a chance to play the text-based, choose-your-own-adventure game.

 

However, the best part of the week was getting 28 middle school students to create a game that was not only creative but also had something compelling to say about their world. What the students came up with was amazing. One team created an anti-bullying game, where the player has to combat negative words on the screen with positive reinforcement. Another group did something similar but the purpose of their game was to “wack” fast food while listening to a Shaquille O’Neal hip hop tune, What’s Up Doc? (Can We Rock) ft. Fu-Schnickens. The most surprising project was a game called Trump’s Twitter Feed. Designed to look exactly like Twitter, players were tasked with deciding which tweet was fake and which was real—all while listening to a distorted version of the American National Anthem.

 

On Monday, the school had a giant showcase and our students created a mini arcade where participants were able to listen to curated hip hop music and see first-hand how students could hack a traditional point-and-click game design and make it culturally relevant.

 

Big thanks to EBIA for partnering with us on this fun project!

 

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