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Teens at The Plug-In Studio in Chicago have taken a love of gaming and used this passtime to help generate social awareness. During a summer program at the Hyde Park Art Center, teens helped to create The Street Arcade. The teens took part in a video game design program run by partners Kerry Richardson (an adjunct SAIC media professor) and Steve Ciampaglia (an assistant art professor at Northern Illinois University). The classes are offered as part of the summer workshop offerings at Chicago area community centers.
The Hyde Park Art Center was turned into a free-to-play retro 8-bit arcade this summer to showcase the students’ games. Thirteen artists worked to create 8-bit-style games that showcased cultural issues such as bullying, race, and immigration.