Sure, we love games and we enjoy seeing the great game makers who come from far and wide to attend The New York Game Awards. And we enjoy the intense spirit of collegiality and friendship that comes from a bond wrought from eight years of the New York Videogame Critics Circle – and from making the show ourselves, everything from the program to the camerawork and beyond.
Putting on a show of this magnitude is very challenging work. But we do it because we’re a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that really wants to give back to underserved communities like the students at the DreamYard Prep School in the Bronx.
In the spring of this year, we had PlayStation President Shawn Layden mentor our students via Skype. And Nintendo America’s President Reggie Fils-Aime mentored our Bronx students in the fall. Journalists Sherri Smith, Dan Ackerman, Eb Samuel and Chris Byrd have all taken time from their busy jobs to mentor the students and older adults with whom we work. And they do it selflessly.
Here’s more about our group:
We are a multicultural organization. Everyone is welcome regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. That’s how we began. That’s how we will go forward – forever.
We mentor at a high school in the poorest Congressional district in the United States. It’s in the Bronx. It’s full of cool people in a great community. But it’s very underserved.
What else? We mentor awesome older adults, too. Older people deserve great tech and games – like everyone else. They love VR games. When one person played Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, she said, “I’m too old to go to Coney Island and ride the roller coaster. But this is even better.”
We hold panels and workshops at the main branch of the New York Public Library. We don’t charge for our time. We give it freely because we want kids to learn.
All the monies from tickets you buy for the New York Game Awards on 1/22/19 go to funding our work in under-served communities.
We’re really expanding. We now have satellite Critics Circles at Lehman College, Bronx Tech, Orlando and the Bronx’s DreamYard Prep School. That’s five Critics Circles!
We love art. So we’re partnering with the Museum of Modern Art to bring students to talk to senior curators at the museum. And that’s just the beginning of our partnership.
We are applying for grant from a prominent foundation that will take us to Harlem and perhaps to Brownsville as well. Preliminarily, things are looking great. Fingers crossed!
Next up? We’re working on having a Critics Circle in an underserved school in Washington, D.C., helmed by a very prominent journalist.