The New York Videogame Critics Circle (the multicultural organization comprised of the finest videogame critics, writers, reporters and bloggers in the city), in partnership with The DreamYard Project, kicked off a new, daily summer journalism course in The Bronx to further its mission to give back to underserved high school students. The curriculum prepares high school students for careers in the games industry, with the Critics Circle’s journalism mentoring being a central feature of the program.
“This is a giant step forward in what has been a first-of-its-kind partnership for our non-profit organization,” said New York Videogame Critics Circle president and board president, Harold Goldberg. “Investing time and energy into these students, who will be the gaming journalists and narrative designers of the future, is highly rewarding; we can’t wait to see the students thrive in, and outside of the classroom.”
Taught by Imad Khan, an NYVGCC member who’s written for ESPN and The Washington Post, and Stefanelli Romano, an ardent educator from Bronx High School of Business, the new daily journalism course focuses on teaching students the basic of games journalism, games narrative and an overall passion for expression via writing. NYVGCC provides a journalist mentor and collaborate on curriculum while overseeing speakers and trips.
“We have 25 eager students from three schools taking the new summer journalism course, and they’re so eager to learn,” said Stefanelli Romano, Bronx High School of Business. “We’re all going to work hard to make this program a great success, one that can be scaled to work in other schools throughout the city, as well.”
The BX Start course runs this summer for six weeks with 25 students from three Bronx-area schools. All classes are taught in an artful, temporary space, while a larger Bronx game center is being built.
A selection of the speakers includes:
- Adam Sessler, former G4TV editor-in-chief
- Cecilia D’Anastasio, Kotaku’s award-winning investigative journalist
- Arda Orcal, ESPN esports host
- Sherri Smith, Tom’s Guide’s assistant managing editor
- Elizabeth Ballou, Game creator and NYU Game Center graduate student
Additional New York Videogame Critics Circle Programs Include:
- DreamYard Project at DreamYard Prep School in the Bronx: Offering mentoring, internships, workshops, job information and college scholarships for intelligent, but underprivileged students.
- Community events at The Abrons Arts Center: The New York Videogame Critics Circle holds the annual New York Game Awards, teaches courses and brings games education to community events.
- Mentoring at Older Adult Technology Services (O.A.T.S.), at their Senior Planet tech center in Manhattan’s Chelsea area.
- New York Public Library system and American Museum of Natural History panels: Talks and discussions about jobs in games, games history, and how games bring people together.
NYVGCC members are a culturally diverse and passionate group of videogame journalists from media outlets including Polygon, Tom’s Guide, CNET, Time and The Washington Post. View a full list of members here. For more information on getting involved through volunteering and fundraising with the NYVGCC, click here.