Teenage Girls Create Anti-Bullying Video Game
They're breaking boundaries and making a space for girl gamers in a male-dominated industry.
Four middle schoolers in Seattle, WA have proven that you're never too young to reach your goals, as long as you believe in yourself.
At a summer camp hosted by Girls Make Games , an organization that encourages young people to learn more about the gaming industry, a group of four 12-year-old girls came up with a new idea for a video game. They developed their idea, pitched it to a group of industry professionals at a national competition, and - they won!
Along with the publicity that comes with winning the competition, the girls (who are known as team "Sarcastic Shark Clouds") launched a Kickstarter campaign, which they'll use to further develop and publish their game. The group was even honored by Today last month for their celebration of the International Day of the Girl .
You can read about another inspiring video game creator in a previous Sparkt story:
The name of the game is "Shredded Secrets" and it allows players to see bullying through the eyes of several different characters: a failing student, a bully, a heartbroken teacher and a person being bullied.
"We really wanted to show the different perspectives to show that you don't know everybody's story," Gracie Clauson, one of the game's creators, told King5-TV . "Not everybody is born as a mean person."
The game lets you complete the levels as the different characters, and once you reach the end of each level you can unlock the character of the bully. The trailer for the game delivers positive messages throughout, encouraging people to "Remember to be kind; Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
"We felt that bullying is a problem to address because there's so many people affected by bullying and we want people to realize how much it hurts people, and also there can be multiple sides to the story," Keira Munko, another creator, explained.
It's no secret that the gaming industry is dominated by men, however organizations like Girls Make Games are trying to change that.
"The video games industry is one of the biggest content creators that influences society, and especially our youth. When women don't make games, their perspective and contribution is left out of this incredible vehicle for social change," GMG founders Shabir and Ish Syed write on their website.
For Team Sarcastic Shark, this is only the beginning. The Kickstarter campaign has helped the group to continue to work on their concept, hire professional artists, musicians and programmers, and eventually publish a completed version of their game. They're hoping for a release date in spring 2020.
While the girls are now 13 years old, they've got some sage advice for those who want to follow in their digital footsteps: "Be an activist for your own beliefs and be true to yourself."
Now that's a motto we can get behind.
To learn more about their project and contribute to the "Shredded Secrets" Kickstarter campaign, click here .
(Source: images & video Girls Make Games Facebook )