Meet Oakland's Latinx Game Developers

3 min
The Gameheads team! (Pendarvis Harshaw)

In all my years, I've never played a video game in which the main character was a mother. Not until the other day, that is, when I walked into Oakland's Youth Impact Hub.

The center, located on 28th and Telegraph and run by United Roots, is home to a number of youth-focused activities and organizations. I was there to check out one of them in particular: Gameheads, which teaches young folks how to create video games.

Some of the organization's students—Marisa Diaz, Rebecca Taylor, Veronica Guzman, Angelina Perez and Brittany Medina—recently combined forces and created a game called Te Amo Mama, in which the gamer plays the role of a mother hen, guiding her baby chick through every obstacle-laden stage of life.

"It's frustrating!" I said, not too long after getting on the sticks, realizing that just trying to get your offspring to listen to you is a challenge in itself.

They told me that's the point. They want young folks to understand how difficult it is to be a mother. They also told me that the character of the hen was important, since it's emblematic of maternal power, especially in Latinx households.

They're set to unveil the game at a number of places in the near future. To hear all about the game before it's launched, hit the link above.

A shorter version of this episode was first broadcast on Oct 13, 2019. To subscribe for more episodes of 'Rightnowish,' see the podcast page here.

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