Office of Economic Development | 101 Industrial Road Choctaw, MS 39350 | 601.656.5251 | info@choctaw.org

Choctaw “Game Jam” event is a success!!

10/30/2018

Choctaw Community News

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The Office of Economic Development partnered with an interactive game design comapny, E-line Media to host a two-day event here at the Pearl River Community on September 5-6, 2018. The event brough over 36 high school students from grades 9-12 together to test their creative thinking skills in the field of video game design and team building with the focus of Choctaw Stickball and Culture as the focal point of the study.

On day one, the students received a crash course into the video game industry by the professional staff of E-line. Then they were briefed on the historical facts of the Choctaw culture and the game of Choctaw Stickball by Chahta Immi Director Jay Wesley. For the event, students were split up into groups and giving instructions on the focus of the project. The idea was to get the students to come up with their own Choctaw game ideas and design either focusing on stickball or culture; they also had to come up with their entire game ideas from the characters, time era, game module preference, and so forth.

After an all-day session of team building and snacking on "Hot Cheetos," the teams then had to get in front of their peers and present their ideas to an assembled panel of judges. MBCI Economic Development official Jason Grisham stated, "The teams did an 'outstanding' job with their creative thinking coming up with several great ideas of games that could be used for the research. Not only that, there were some bright young individuals that stepped up and showcased their leadership, gaming, and presentation skills during this event. It was rewarding to see that all of the kids enjoyed themselves and really gave their full attention and effort into the event."

On day two, the students came back along with a group of Tribal Elders to come together and brainstorm different issues and topics that are relevant around the Choctaw Reservation. The topic on day two was a "Holistic Wellness Center" idea; where, if we had a center focused on the physical, mental, emotional, cultural, and spiritual well-being of a person; how they would envision the center operating and the benefits from it.

Following the same concept as day one, students were split into groups with one or two elders in the group and they were asked to come up with scenerios that they could see happening in such a facility. After some time, each of the teams were asked to get up and present their ideas on the impact that they thought a facility like this would have on the community and its members.

"This was an event put together to gain ideas for research from our high school kids and their gaming preferences. We wanted to make sure that we tapped into the minds of our younger generation and make sure that is a game was designed on the Choctaw game of Stickball and culture, that we did not miss out on nay information that was of importance to them in a video game. I think that what we got out of the event was much more that that; these kids came up with some great ideas and game concepts. But not only that, they showed us that our tribal kids are really tapped into the digital media and technology world more tha twe thought. I think we found a topic of interest with them and they showed that by the way they participated and the enthusiasm that they gave in their efforts. it was great to see that from them, and after the event, I was asking the same thing they were... when is the next one?" says Grisham.       


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