Community News: Playing With Purpose In The Bronx

Omari Lowe (pictured with Nintendo Switch) displayed his excellent play skills during our game day at Bronxworks’ Jackson Street location. He took home the Switch after winning at Mario Kart and Smash.

By Harold Goldberg

While we love producing the New York Game Awards for fans, we love giving back to the community even more. Particularly, the New York Videogame Critics Circle is entering it third year of partnership with the Bronxworks network of homeless residences. Last week at the Jackson Street location, assistant mentor Isaac Espinosa and I staged a game education and competition event for the ardent young people there. Students at Jackson often live in complex situations that have been complicated by the pandemic. So on that day of joy, we taught students to Play With Purpose, to think critically about the art, the writing, the music and gameplay that they witness as they play. And then we got into the competition.

Much swag was given away, including NYVGCC T-shirts and wristbands, videogame memorabilia, my book on games, and a Nintendo Switch console. After heated competition, the Nintendo Switch was won by Omari Lowe, who placed first in multiple games of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. So big congrats to Omari and all who played (everyone got something cool)! We’ll be back at the Jackson location during spring break for more fun, prizes and education!

Author/journalist Harold Goldberg is the founder and president of the New York Videogame Critics Circle and the New York Game Awards. His narrative history of games is All Your Base Are Belong to Us (How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture).

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