AMD Changing the Game Program Partners to Advance Youth Game Development
AMD announced three new program partners to help develop educational game programs in conjunction with its AMD Changing the Game signature education initiative.
Skillpoint Alliance, The World Wide Workshop Foundation’s Globaloria program and Austin, Texas-based Southwest Key will initiate new programs with grants from the AMD Foundation. Additionally, two current partners, PETLab and Science Buddies, will receive additional grants for work in 2009. The grants are designed to help non-profit organizations foster science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills for students through the development of games on important social issues such as the environment, energy consumption, public health and many others.
For a second year, AMD is teaming up with the Games for Change Festival to sponsor “Let the Games Begin: A 101 Workshop on Making Social Issue Games.” The festival begins today in New York and continues through May 29.
“The digital gaming medium has incredible power to draw the attention of today’s teens and enhance education,” said Allyson Peerman, vice president of Public Affairs for AMD and President of the AMD Foundation. “With the addition of these new program partners to the AMD Changing the Game program, we are continuing to demonstrate the benefits of educating youth through game development. By helping enable the proliferation of social issue games, we are fostering STEM1 skill learning while helping teens become more socially responsible citizens. Encouraging students’ interest in science and math is critically important to our industry’s ability to develop the next-generation of smart, talented innovators.”
The Games for Change festival marks the one-year anniversary of the AMD Changing the Game initiative and the second year the AMD Foundation has helped to produce the day-long 101 workshop, a popular comprehensive program that empowers non-profits to develop their own social issue games.
Since its launch in June 2008, AMD Changing the Game has funded four nonprofit organizations that enable youth game development; explored social issues in Teen Second Life; funded an online toolkit to help nonprofits create games on social issues; and funded the development of a youth game-development curriculum with PETLab and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. PETLab, a collaboration between Parsons the New School for Design and Games for Change, recently completed pilot testing of the curriculum in five U.S. cities and it is expected to be finalized in June. Boys and Girls Clubs of America is planning to deploy a version made just for Clubs across their organization in January 2010.
The AMD Foundation has also collaborated with the Learning Games Network to co-sponsor the A-Ha Moment video contest. The contest challenges students aged 13 and older in middle school, high school and post-secondary school to develop creative ideas on how education can and will change with the help of digital games.
Building Momentum for Educational Gaming
The AMD Foundation is adding three new non-profit organizations to its growing roster of partners and expanding existing relationships:
- Skillpoint Alliance is a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships among industry, education and the community, leading to college and career success for Central Texans, while meeting employers’ needs for a qualified workforce. The AMD Foundation will fund, “Game On!,” a four-week, project-based internship experience in which 20 high school students will design and produce socially conscious video games.
- The World Wide Workshop is a global foundation for developing educational technology applications that intertwine social media technology and game production to enhance learning, innovation, entrepreneurship, and an understanding of the world in economically disadvantaged and technologically underserved communities. The AMD Foundation will fund the integration of the World Wide Workshop Foundation’s Globaloria Program into the daily curriculum of Southwest Key’s East Austin College Prep Academy. Globaloria is a learning network of programmable websites, wikis and blogs that inspires and educates a new generation of youth game makers committed to changing the world for the better with their games.
- Southwest Key’s mission is to advocate for children worldwide and to impact children, youth and families by empowering them to succeed. AMD, in partnership with The World Wide Workshop, will incorporate Globaloria, a proven in-school game curriculum and Web 2.0 platform this fall for 90 6th graders with Southwest Key’s East Austin College Prep Academy.
- AMD is also announcing an additional program partnership with PETLab to build on the success of the AMD-funded curriculum that PETLab designed for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The new “Game Design for New Literacies” program is designed deliver the existing PETLab educational modules to a wider youth audience. The curriculum will incorporate additional activities for sharpening STEM skills and be supplemented by new online tools and a community-building website to support collaborative projects and sharing of game designs.
- Science Buddies is a nonprofit organization based in California's Silicon Valley offering a variety of web-based tools that help K-12 students explore science. Through the AMD Foundation’s support in 2008 and 2009, Science Buddies launched a video and computer games interest area on its site aimed at helping students understand and practice what is required to design digital games.
- AMD Foundation and the Learning Games Network are currently co-sponsoring the A-Ha Moment video contest, which challenges students to share their ideas on how education can and will change with digital games. The contest, open to U.S. students age 13 and older in middle school, high school and post-secondary school, consists of two main categories. The “A-Ha Moment” category asks contestants to create a video explaining how playing video games reinforced something they had first learned elsewhere. The “My Dream Assignment” category asks them to describe a game that could be “required playing” for a class. First place winners in each age group will be eligible to receive a 16-inch HP Pavilion dv6 series notebook powered by an AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core mobile processor ZM-84.
AMD Changing the Game, the signature education initiative of the AMD Foundation, is designed to take gaming beyond entertainment and inspire youth to learn critical education and life skills by equipping them to create digital games with social content. The program’s purpose is to promote the use of youth game development as a tool to inspire learning, improve science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills, and spur career interest in game development or a similar field. The initiative is rooted in AMD’s commitment to and experience in supporting education and the company’s passion and expertise in the graphics processor and gaming industries.