On Thursday, December 4, 2014, we ran our first set of GameCamp! workshops. It was such a great turn out! Over seventy undergraduate students, graduate students, staff members, and faculty were present across the three workshops, and a lot of great ideas and collaborations emerged.
Using a modified version of Mollieindustria’s paper prototyping workshop “Making Revolutionary Games with Verbs,” we tasked participants to take classic arcade videogames and modify them to explore a particular social justice issue from a set of options we provided. No computers were needed. We just had printed sprites, fresh sheets of papers, scissors, drawing utensils, and thoughtful discussion. Using a game like Frogger, Space Invaders, or Pac-Man as a basis, the participants found interesting ways to explore environmental justice, student debt and rising tuition, the militarization of university campuses, and other pressing social and political issues.
We will make our workshops materials, which have been modified specifically for a university context, available online shortly.
We were also fortunate to host Gabriel Gutierrez of IGDA Sacramento, the local chapter of the International Game Developers Association. Gabriel spoke to the students about his experience entering the games industry as an “idea person” – someone with design concepts but limited programming or artistic skill. Gabriel also helped students develop their modding concepts and showed us some trailers of his upcoming games with Nascent Games.
Check out the photos in the gallery below to see some of the paper prototypes that came out of the workshop.