AMD Partners With Boys and Girls Clubs for Game Design Contest

Posted by at 9:22 am on June 22, 2011

At the 8th annual Games for Change Festival in New York, N.Y., AMD and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) announced that AMD and the AMD Foundation have strengthened their commitment to the organization with a combined grant of $355,162, providing access to educational gaming technology for youth nationwide. AMD Foundation, a major supporter of this week’s 8th Annual Games for Change Festival, feels strongly about helping young people develop and learn new skills through the partnership with BGCA.

The contribution supports the AMD Foundation’s signature education initiative, AMD Changing the Game, a program that encourages youth to learn critical STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and become more globally conscious citizens by developing digital games with social content.

AMD and Microsoft Join to Help Kids

AMD will kick off the renewed collaboration with BGCA by joining forces with Microsoft to bring a technology center and BGCA’s Club Tech: Game Tech program to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula in Menlo Park, Calif. Other sites benefitting from the collaboration include Boys & Girls Clubs in Houston and Austin, Texas.

“The AMD Foundation is proud of our strategic partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Allyson Peerman, president, AMD Foundation, AMD. “This new grant will enable hundreds of students to develop vital technology and STEM skills through the creation of digital games on important social issues.”

AMD’s Changing the Game program has been successfully deployed in BGCA clubs in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington.

BGCA and AMD first collaborated in 2008 when AMD helped support the creation of BGCA’s Game Tech video game development program. AMD then supported two Boys & Girls Clubs in 2009 in Boxborough, Mass., and Ft. Collins, Colo., by installing new technology centers and funding the implementation of Game Tech. AMD followed up last year with Game Tech in four additional Boys & Girls Clubs. Expectations on this new national collaboration were exceeded with overwhelming positive feedback from Clubs.

GameTech Has Big Appeal

According to Steve Zepf, a Club director with Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest in Marlborough, Mass., the biggest success was the overall excitement the program generated with the Club members. “The interest in the program was so great that participants would spend many of their free hours at the Club working on their Game Tech programs,” said Zepf. “It appealed to a diverse group of members, especially those who do not typically participate in technology activities.”

Another site where Club members saw success was with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. As members learned how to design games, they would further engage by playing and providing feedback on other participants’ games. One Club member who especially excelled at Game Tech was Koby, the youngest of four children and the only boy. Wanting to find his place in a house full of women, Koby found a unique way to share his accomplishments with family and friends.

“Being able to share his game with others gave Koby a great sense of accomplishment that could be seen by the joy in his face,” said Martha C. Avalo, a technology program director at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. “Koby is just one example of how Game Tech helps our youth find a unique way to express themselves and provides a way to feel good about achieving their goals.”

With four more Boys & Girls Clubs scheduled to receive tech centers this year, hundreds more Club youth will experience a positive social impact through this technology.

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