Here’s Your Change is a game set in a small store in a low income Oakland neighborhood. It’s a first-person game structured like Papers, Please, which its designer Rogelio Lara cites as a key inspiration. The player stands behind the shop’s counter and serves a series of customers, all of whom bring small stories of struggle and frustration. Some of the customers are friendly, others less so. As the game progresses, the store’s clientele begins to shift, reflecting a rapid gentrification of the neighborhood. It’s a short, nicely illustrated game that tells a powerful story. Lara created Here’s Your Change with help from other students at an educational initiative called Gameheads in Oakland, California. The game was recently demonstrated at the Intentional Play Summit in San Jose, and at Gameheads’ own annual showcase. Gameheads is an initiative designed to build a pipeline into game development for low-income students and people of color. It … [Read more...] about Low-income, minority students tell their life stories through games
Teaching life skills high school
If you made a different turn heading toward the coastline, you’d miss Santa Marianita entirely. Wedged between Manta and the Pacific Ocean, the small, 5,000-person Ecuadorean fishing village isn’t on the map. Visitors often show up by accident after taking a wrong turn on their way from San Lorenzo to Manta, or perhaps driven by curiosity toward the sea after visiting the nearby Pacoche wildlife reserve. Santa Marianita’s roads are paved; the sidewalks aren’t. Its few, humble thatched-roof hostels have an enviable ocean view, from whose windows you can whale-watch at the right time of the year. And its windswept beaches stretch on for wide, empty kilometers. The occasional kite surfer or digital nomad drifts in, drawn by the legendary waves or the promise of fiber-optic internet, which reached the village in 2016. But most days, it’s just fishermen hauling their catches and pelicans skimming the sea. Ecuador is not a place known for its gaming culture. … [Read more...] about The video games of Ecuadorean fishing village Santa Marianita
In 2007 fresh out of high school as a senior, if you would have asked me if I was excited for college, I would not be able to contain the emotion in my face. Hell yes I was excited. I had knew that I wanted to make games since the day I finished the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign. I knew that very day that I was destined to create experiences as magical as this one had been for me. Games were epic. They were the ultimate form of art. Sure I loved making music (used to be a rapper yo!), sure I loved programming, sure I loved storytelling. But games…games were all of the above. Games were my chance to create the ultimate expression of the fragments inside my head that wanted to badly to be understood. Games were everything great about every art form all wrapped into a single fun and interactive package. So the only choice for me was to go to school for game development. Here is my experience. It started out OK…err that’s what I told myself. The first 2 years, even … [Read more...] about Should You Go To College For Game Dev? Here’s My Experience.
A Peek into my Video Game Design and Development Courses Recently @techucation reached out to ask for some resources and ideas related to teaching Video Game Design and Development. I responded to his inquiry and realized it would serve as a worthwhile blog post to share with the educational community. Below is a general description of my 7th and 8th grade courses. In 7th grade, I teach a six week introduction to video game design and digital storytelling. In 8th grade I teach a full semester course in video game design and development. I have also developed and teach the full semester course as an online high school course for The VHS Collaborative (http://thevhscollaborative.org/). I hope you find the information helpful as I would love to see more courses evolve that teach important 21st century skills through game design. Currently, I am enrolled in the doctoral program in Educational Technology at Boise State University and the … [Read more...] about Games and Learning
The first rule of fighting games is to make sure your fundamentals are rock solid. If the foundation of your play isn't on point, you'll never be considered a viable competitor. The whiffed launch of Street Fighter V showed that this mantra is as applicable to the game as it is to the people playing it. When it launched in 2016 Street Fighter V had a strong gameplay core, but the emaciated frame containing it couldn't stand up to its contemporaries. A lack of modes that are considered staples for the series and the absence of tools to teach newcomers how to play left all but the most experienced fighting game aficionados out in the cold. This, unfortunately, came to define the discussion surrounding Street Fighter V, and although Capcom introduced offline modes and a suite of training options in the following months, that grey cloud has continued to linger over it. Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, however, represents a new beginning. Arriving two years after the game's initial launch, … [Read more...] about Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition Review