On August 13, MOUSE had the exciting opportunity to host a game-making table at the school year's first Hive Game Jam! The event was hosted at Global Kids headquarters and featured activities and youth from MOUSE and other Hive NYC organizations! This was the first of six Game Jams that MOUSE will be a part of over the course of the year.
At MOUSE's station, attendees created two different levels for a platform-jumping style game (like Mario or Sonic) using Gamestar Mechanic. The first step was to prototype your game levels by drawing them on a paper template:
Once you planned out your designs, you got to put them into Gamestar Mechanic to test them out. Everyone worked together to improve their games and make sure they had the right balance of fun and challenge. Participants made some amazing games at the MOUSE table and the best part is YOU can try them out! You'll need a Gamestar Mechanic account, but its free to sign up. Check out the games here:
Throughout the afternoon, the 35 Game Jam participants got to do lots of cool, hands-on stuff. As a group, everyone hacked Tic-Tac-Toe to make their own versions. Then they got to spend time at different activity stations where they learned about other aspects of gaming, including:
- using Scratch to hack the classic video game Pong with the Museum of the Moving Image,
- making wearable game controllers with Eyebeam,
- and using Gamestar Mechanic to create games based on a story with Global Kids.
Missed this Game Jam? Don't worry! MOUSE will be participating in five more this year.
Stay tuned to the Wire for more information about upcoming Game Jams throughout the year. See you at the next one!
Do you like games? Do you like making things? Then come design some games with us!
Build your own video game in Gamestar Mechanic or Scratch! Make your own power glove, or design your own project to let your imagination run wild. We'll give you game design tips, and then give you time to create your own with the help of our expert staff.
WHO: Middle and High School students
WHEN: Wednesday, August 13th
TIME: 12-3:30 PM
WHERE: Global Kids
137 East 25th St, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10010
COST: The event is free, but space is limited.
Lunch will not be provided, but there will be light snacks
This is the first in a number of game jams that will be happening throughout the year. Relatives are encouraged to come to the showcase portion of the day from 3:00-3:30 where we'll show off all the awesome projects you made that day!
Don't forget to register HERE, space is very limited!
This event is funded by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund at the New York Community Trust.
The Sixth Annual Emoti-Con! NYC Youth Digital Media & Technology Challenge was held on June 14, and it was an amazing day for NYC makers, tinkerers, and inventors! Over 220 youth and educators from organizations including MOUSE, Global Kids, Girls Write Now, Iridescent, Eyebeam, Brooklyn Public Library, NYPL, City-As-School, and the Wildlife Conservation Society brought an incredible array of projects to the Bartos Forum at the Fifth Avenue New York Public Library.
A youth and adult MC team kicked off the day, and one of the first orders of business was Stack-A-Fact, a game invented by the A-Team (Emoti-Con!'s youth committee) to break the ice and set the tone for the day. In this game, teams competed to build the tallest cup tower, but could only add to their tower by answering questions and completing challenges.
We were also lucky to have an amazing array of keynote speakers for the day, including:
- Tanya Mendendez and Matthew Burnett of Maker's Row, who discussed the importance of teamwork and finding the right project for your passions and skills;
- Jessy Jo Gomez, a young game designer and co-founder of Win 2 Learn, who taught us that it's never too early to start following your passions; and
- Anil Dash, co-founder of ThinkUp, who pointed out that success is often preceded by multiple failures, but that's how we learn and eventually find our way--as many great innovators and entrepreneurs of our time have done.
Check out the Emoti-Con! website to read more about these awesome speakers, and our incredible panel of competition judges!
Amazing MOUSE Projects!
P256Q Gateway Academy Squad
Students from P256Q's MOUSE Squad displayed and demonstrated their project Zip Me Up, a system they developed to help people with limited upper-body movement or amputated limbs to independently zip up their jackets, a little thing that most of us take for granted but that can have a huge impact on daily life! Not only did these intrepid Squad Members demonstrate how their invention is used, but they also 3D printed extra copies of one element of their design to hand out, and brought their MakerBot 3D printer to Emoti-Con! and continued printing them throughout the day!
The JHS 157 Stephen A. Halsey MOUSE Squad
Squad Members from the Halsey MOUSE Squad (our 2014 MOUSE Squad of the Year!) brought two fantastic projects to Emoti-Con! this year: Capturing Dinosaurs, a 3D printing project that came out of their participation in a digital archiving project at the American Museum of Natural History earlier this year, and Island Escape: Serious Games Made Real, a serious game that beat out the competition in a play-off against other games. Students 3D printed the playing pieces for Island Escape themselves, too!
The Baruch Tech Team
The Baruch Tech Team brought a whopping THREE remarkable projects to Emoti-Con! this year: the Self-Watering Plant System (a device that automatically waters your houseplants), Elle the Security Elephant (a plushie elephant toy designed to help lost children by playing either soothing music to calm the child, a siren to act as a distress signal, or a recording of the parent's voice providing contact information), and Photon Case (a fully functional cell phone case that can charge an iPhone battery with solar power). Photon Case was selected as a finalist and voted Crowd Favorite!
This year's MOUSE Corps group presented four amazing assistive technology projects, all designed to support users who have cerebral palsy. They partnered with members of United Cerebral Palsy to design and prototype Gap-Assist (a wheelchair attachment that makes it possible for users to safely get their wheelchair over obstacles like the gap between the subway platform and train), Able Racer (a specialized video game controller for users with limited motor skills due to cerebral palsy), Omni-Palette (a motorized paint pallet for painters with limited upper body mobility and strength), and ReMote Vac (a mobile vacuum cleaner that can be controlled entirely by remote).
In the end, Omni-Palette was awarded Best Pitch, and Gap-Assist won Most Innovative!
In addition to the winning MOUSE projects, Eda T. from Girls Write Now won the award for Most Entertaining with her multimedia ebook Zombies on the Hudson River--an incredibly detailed short story that included text, GIFs, voice recordings, and social media. Payton F. and Keron H. from Global Kids won the awards for both Most Social Impact and Point of View with their serious game, End Violence in Wingate Park, a geolocative game that chronicles the gun violence in their school's neighborhood and looks for solutions. Awesome work, Eda, Payton, and Keron!