On Saturday, Jan. 15, AT&T and the Rochester Institute of Technology will host the ROCtheChange Game Jam.
The event will challenge 65 local students to develop functional digital video games with the theme of social change and social good.
Organizers chose the date of the event to celebrate Martin Luther King’s actual birthday. Local public-school students in grades 8-12 are invited.
The game jam will take place at RIT in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences building from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Professors and students from the School of Interactive Games and Media at RIT will help the participants learn the basic technology and digital skills to create new digital games the students can call their own.
There will be discussions from experienced game makers about working in the industry and learning about career options. The event aims to provide students with a hands-on experience and expose them to the rapidly growing video gaming industry across the Greater Rochester region and New York.
The event is being made possible by financial support and event management collaboration from AT&T as part of the company’s recently announced $2 billion nationwide commitment to help bridge the digital divide and homework gap for underrepresented schools and communities.
Final digital projects at the Game Jam will be scored by a panel of judges of game developers, local tech experts, community leaders, education experts, and elected officials. Judges will score each submission on its potential impact, the quality of execution, and creativity or novelty within the work.
The event is free, and all technology and development resources will be made available for all students. Meals and snacks throughout the day-long event will also be provided. The Game Jam is limited to 65 students; no experience in digital game design or computer coding is required.
Parents can register their children via the event’s Eventbrite page. The deadline to register is Dec. 31, 2021.
The event will follow all CDC COVID safety guidelines, and participants must wear a mask at all times, except when eating, when they will be adequately socially distanced by organizers.
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