Game Changer Chicago Seeking 2014-15 Youth Fellows

Khan_The S.E.E.D. Aug 8th_ 8

Ci3’s design lab, Game Changer Chicago, is seeking Chicago-area high school students to serve as Youth Fellows for the 2014-15 school year. Youth Fellows will be part of a design team, along with Chicago area undergraduate and graduate students, University of Chicago staff and professors who will collaborate to design projects using stories, art, games and technology.

Youth interested in art, design, research, public health, technology, games and more are welcome and encouraged to apply. The time commitment is 4 hours per week from October to June. Fellows will receive a small stipend.

Those interested can click here for more information and the application, due October 3 (no late applications will be accepted). Questions may be directed to GCC Lab Director Ashlyn Sparrow at

Game Changer Chicago Seeking FT Learning Design Specialist

Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab is seeking a full-time Learning Design Specialist to join its team.

a day in the life play test

The Learning Design Specialist is a key member of the Game Changer Chicago team and should have a passion for social and economic justice, improving the lives of youth, and sexual and reproductive health. S/he will be committed to the meaningful integration of technology, accustomed to the use of diverse media in advancing the goal of youth education and transformative learning experiences, with an ability to focus on cross-media game design, youth education, project design and project management and interdisciplinary play. S/he will work on prototyping, game design, and development and will meld his/her tech savvy, youth-formed design aesthetic and commitment to changing youth’s lives through play and learning.

Click here to learn more and apply (click Search Postings on the left sidebar and enter Requisition Number 095325).

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Game Changer Chicago Seeks Game Developer

ARG Narrative Session 3

Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab is seeking a full-time Game Developer to join its team.

The Game Developer will develop games for web and mobile platforms, primarily using the Unity 3D engine. S/he will serve as a technical lead on various projects, consult on technical specifications from conceptualization to launch, and help to guide architecture and framework decisions with informed technical strategy and expertise with tools and utilities. In addition to writing code, the Game Developer will lead other developers or students working on technical aspects of assigned projects, spearhead the code review process and work with the project lead to set development schedules. As an integral member of the GCC team, the Game Developer will be expected to continually research, test, and implement new techniques, frameworks, and utilities with the goal of constant innovation. S/he will help define and enforce development and design standards and best practices for fellow developers and work with the GCC extended team (composed of game designers, artists, and other developers) to design scalable and flexible game systems.

Click here to learn more and apply (position 094866).


Behind the Screen: A Female Game Developer’s First Job

In honor of International Women’s Week, the Ci3/Section blog is spotlighting the stories of our staff and constituents. Today, game designer Amanda Dittami recollects her strange and first professional experience in the game industry. 

Ages ago I worked at game development studio for a short period of time. Thinking back, I realize this instant lasted for about 3 weeks. During this eternity it felt more like 1,814,400 grueling seconds. The following is an arrangement of nonsense, quadruple entendres (divided by four) and recollection of what eventually led to the demise of me working there. Out of respect I will not include proper nouns. In and of itself I will use most other word forms.


After I got the call I felt a surge of excitement that gravitationally pulled me to the floor. This uncoordinated motion was followed by Kool & the Gang, courtesy of two friends. I had just got my first job in the game industry.

amanda1Although measly, I was glad to have any position and felt an energy that I can only (scientifically) describe as “adrenaliney”. It was not until after my first day that I realized the error of my excitement and poor choice in a supposedly scientific term.

The horror of working there did not stem from tedious tasks, long commute or even small pay. Most of the job was quite pleasant. My co-workers were friendly, the atmosphere was welcoming, and there was a kitchen with free food and a bowl of delicious candy at the front desk, its contents for the taking (in which I did partake. feverishly). Rather, the dreadful dismay derived from a deep daunting dilemma from within. But I do not digress.

The game I was paid to play for 8 hours a day 3-4 days a week went against most fibers of my being. Since these filaments had already been contaminated by similar products, I could not turn the other being. I was helping produce the very propaganda that has affected me and many other girls and women (in one way or another). This (per)version was to be packaged for preteen girls (ages 9-15). Most of its features included shallow ideals, dancing promiscuously, lack of diversity and a cast of ditzy girls who think skool is st00pid (lololol). After a week or so I voiced some thoughts about the game with two of my supervisors. I let them know that I felt it seemed irresponsible to target such a young and specific age group with potentially harmful paradigms.  I also asked them what they thought of the game. One said he thought it was better than selling violent games (to which I pointed out at least have rating (as ineffective as they may (parenthetically) be)). The other felt similarly but remarked that the “intellectual” property could not be changed.

amanda2My inner conflict remained unresolved and quickly began to seep into life outside of the studio, staining my thoughts and ruining my ability to sleep soundly. I would often lie in bed thinking about it. I could see the credits rolling on the back of my eyelids: there was my name, listed. Imagined proof that I helped unleash a destructively dancing monster laden in pink, singing about getting revenge on the girl her boyfriend cheated on her with. I would often lie to myself and say it didn’t really matter. My pathetic attempt at excusing my prolonged participation consisted of something I had to do in order to get the chance to work on better games in the future. Thankfully, it was a failed attempt.

Suddenly, I put in my two weeks notice.

Don’t tell anyone but I did not disclose the primary reason for jumping ship.


amanda4Amanda Dittami is a game designer artist and project lead at Game Changer Chicago Design Lab. 

Art by Amanda Dittami.