The dedicated crew of comprised of Cindy, Queena, and Tiffany at the Seward Park Branch of the New York Public Library have been hard at work finalizing their game. With the aide of Global Kids staff member Joliz Cedeño and librarians Johanna Lewis and Anne Rouyer the young ladies have developed a rich layered game that highlights the history of women rights and labor from the early 1900s.
The story follows the detective on a quest to find a boy’s lost sister. Using research from various books and primary sources the girls took copious notes on historical events that could be incorporated as plot points. Early on the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire became the anchor for their game. Having discussed how immigrants are still being exploited in the neighborhood by being subjected to harsh working conditions, the youth felt passionate about educating their community on the difficulties faced by women and immigrants in the past and how despite the strides made by protests and change in policies – these issues continue today not only in Seward Park but worldwide.
Having chosen the topic the girls worked on developing the story, plotting out the areas of the neighborhood they wanted to highlight. Players would discover the Hester Street Market, see the location of the Tenement Museum and see the location where trolleys would travel through to take the young girls from their neighborhood to the west side of town to work in the factories. To place their own signature within the game, they introduced the detective writing case notes to take him from each location and allow the player to process each discovery through the detective’s eyes. The player is introduced to a few colorful characters including labor activist Rose Schneiderman who famously declared that “What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist…the worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.” It wasn’t just about earning your wages, you should have a safe proper environment to work in as well as time off. As a call to action the girls developed a petition to request that the United States Garment Industry stop the use of sweatshop practices worldwide.
Zachary Timm visited to shoot the opening video sequence with the girls as well as their call to action. With a very brief lesson on how to use Aris, the platform used for their game, Cindy and Queena took the initiative to begin coding some of the final dialog sequences the detective has. With the game close to being finalized we’re excited to test it out with others and showcase the amazing work done by this group of young people.
Cindy and Queena work together to code dialog in Aris.