Student at Rutgers University, Jr. Faculty at Urban Arts
New Brunswick, NJ, USA / Hispanic or Latinx
🎓 Student at Rutgers University, Jr. Faculty at Urban Arts
😁 Sarah used to be a varsity fencer in high school!
Sarah inspires people around the world to use computer science and game development as a vehicle for the arts by promoting inclusivity and ensuring everyone can see themselves reflected in the media they consume.
ABOUT HER WORK
Sarah has been teaching computer science to students at the School of Interactive Arts for three years as an assistant teaching artist and a complete teaching artist. Specifically, Sarah teaches Unity game development and design to high schoolers around New York City, both online and in person. She is passionate about her work and wants to inspire people worldwide to use computer science and game development as a vehicle for the arts.
WATCH & DISCUSS
Watch: Street Shuffle
What components of computer science are included in Street Shuffle?
Street Shuffle is a party-based card game where you explore the streets of Dunkopolis, battling against other street performers in an attempt to earn money and make a name for yourself. You and your performer crew will work together to create powerful combinations of cards to win over the crowd and make your way to a special magic event coming to town.
https://www.nydailynews.com/2022/05/16/mayor-adams-pumps-2m-into-new-cuny-degree-in-video-game-design-gaming-is-the-great-equalizer / (Look for quote towards the bottom!)
ADVICE TO YOUNGER SELF
Sarah first learned computer science in Middle school (grades 6-8, ages 11-14)
“To my younger 13-year-old self: always come back when you give up. Always give things another shot. Computer science might not click now, and you might not get it. That doesn't mean that you WON'T get it someday. You just need to keep trying, keep learning, keep asking questions. Taking a break is okay, but you must always come back and keep trying your best.”
HOW HAS SARAH'S WORK CONTRIBUTED TO OR HARNESSED COMPUTER SCIENCE'S GOOD, NEUTRAL, AND NEGATIVE IMPACTS?
Ethical or Moral Impacts of Computing: “Video game violence has been a hotly debated topic surrounding video games. Should we allow kids to play games that are considered inherently violent? Does violence in games promote violence in real life from all age groups? Do video games impact the real world to this extent? We need to be conscious of who plays games and what kind of experiences they are coming in with. People who are predisposed to violent behavior are more likely to gravitate towards video games with violence. Instead of blaming the problem on the game, we should be working with the individuals themselves.”
Good: Sarah’s work in the gaming industry contributes to computer science's positive impact by advocating for diversity and representation in video games. By creating games that resonate with a wide range of audiences, including people of color and members of the LGBT community, Randi is promoting inclusivity and ensuring that everyone can see themselves reflected in the media they consume. This fosters a sense of belonging and inspires others to tell their stories through video games, enriching the industry with diverse narratives and characters.
Neutral: The advent of computers has transformed the gaming landscape, making games more accessible and enabling global digital play. While AI is poised to influence game development, Sarah highlights that many roles in the gaming industry, beyond programming, require computer science skills, such as game design, technical artistry, and music composition. While AI can optimize certain tasks, it may lead to concerns about job displacement as companies seek cost-effective solutions, potentially affecting the quality of games and the need for developers.
Negative: The debate around video game violence continues to be a topic of discussion. Sarah emphasizes the importance of considering individual predispositions to violence rather than blaming games outright. However, the discussion raises concerns about the impact of violent games on real-world behavior and the need for responsible gaming practices. Additionally, reliance on AI-generated code may discourage novice developers from learning the underlying algorithms, potentially hindering their long-term growth.