Blog Post

Catching up!

I apologize for the silence. I have been juggling three senior level classes, writing game design documents and meeting with people for our game. Luckily, my finals are over now. I  wrote a thirteen page paper about the connection between online libel laws and the effect  they could have on the future of online communications with a focus on twitter. I also had to write a fake travel itinerary as if I were about to backpack through Slovakia. For the project, I was required to interview someone from the country. When my interviewee fell through, I called an older friend to ask for help. Calmly he said, "Why don't you just call the Slovakian embassy in DC?". Call a place? Since when do people CALL somewhere? You wouldn't even know that phones had a calling capacity if you were to look at the phones of my friends and I. It worked! They have *land lines*! I have never appreciated land lines as much as I did right then.

Moving on.

Did anyone watch the Video Game Awards on Friday night? I watched part of the program but found the machismo a little too much to handle at 1 AM and fell asleep.


I am meeting with one of the founders of BrainCake because I have been invited to become a mentor for younger girls involved in their program! Braincake is a program whose mission is to encourage middle school girls to think about the STEM fields as a career path. I am very excited about participating in the program. Not only am I often one of the only women in the room at technology events, but also because this region has a larger gender wage gap than average when compared to the rest of the United States.

I am also now on the board of directors for a community development group where I live, it is called the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation. I have taken a special interest in one proposal submitted to the group partially because it is so connected to some of the options in our game. A music venue wants to use one of our buildings. I have been talking to people with expertise in art policy, finance, land use development, and children's issues about this specific proposal. I have looked at how we approach the same issue in our game given the issues with the real life venue moving in to the neighborhood.

Additionally, I spoke with a staffer from the organization 10,000 Friends of Western PA this past week. He gave me great ideas about public transportation solutions his organization advocates for. Although I read about public transportation on a daily basis and it is a large focus in our game, he had some very specific solutions for this region which I had not encountered before. It is always exciting to meet people with new and innovative solutions for this specific region! I have tried to make our game as realistic as possible, however, at a certain point, some people seem to equate "realism" with "a negative attitude about change". I walk a fine line between a game showing young people how regional planning takes place while also offering them new, future-oriented options. The blog,, has become a blog I read daily because they document cutting edge green projects happening throughout the world.


*deep breath in, deep breath out*.


I will post more game-centric posts tomorrow.




Laura Staniland






No comments