High School Students To Create Video Games For Social Change At AT&T & RIT ROCtheChange Game Jam January 15

Rochester Area Public School Students To Create Social Change Using Video Games At AT&T & RIT ROCtheChange Game Jam took place on January 15, the first free game jam for young people in the region.

At the event, local students in Grades 8-12 will learn programming and gain hands-on experience creating functional digital video games. With the event taking place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, students will be challenged to create games around the theme of social change and social good.

To eliminate economic barriers, the game jam is free. All technology and meals will be provided. Additionally, students are not required to have previous experience in computer coding or digital game design.

The game jam is a collaboration between RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media and AT&T. It aims to expand digital literacy skills and coding and game development opportunities for students in the Rochester area, especially those from schools and under-represented communities. The program aims to help young people from all walks of life and economic backgrounds envision careers in the growing tech labor market, an industry known for its lack of diversity.

The AT&T & RIT ROCtheChange Game Jam will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on January 15, in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences building at RIT. Parents can register their children on the Eventbrite page before December 31, 2021. The event is limited to 65 students.

Throughout the day, faculty and students from RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media will help participants learn the basic technologies and digital skills needed to create digital games. Plus, game makers will be there to talk about what it’s like to have a career in game design and development.

When creating the games, students will incorporate social change ideas into the themes and actions of the gameplay. Topics may include Go Green, Stand Up, Speak Up, Equality for All, and Mental Health Awareness / Support. The projects will then be rated by a panel of judges made up of game developers, local tech experts, community leaders, education experts and elected officials.

The event is made possible through the financial support and event management collaboration of AT&T, as part of the company’s program A national commitment of $ 2 billion to help bridge the digital divide and the homework gap.

AT & T’s partnership with RIT to develop and deliver the free game jam aligns with AT & T’s legacy of supporting the digital divide and educational programs focused on digital literacy and STEM disciplines in New York City, through the through the AT&T Aspire initiative. Aspire is one of the country’s largest corporate commitments focused on advancing education, creating opportunity, strengthening communities and improving lives, especially among historically underserved populations. , creating new learning environments and teaching systems that promote racial equity in academic and economic success.

RIT’s School of Games and Interactive Media offers some of the best programs for budding game developers in the world, according to The Princeton Review’s international rankings.

For more information and to register for the event, go to AT&T & RIT ROCtheChange Game Jam Eventbrite page.

John C. Dent