For Genesis Espinal, who grew up in the Bronx, she never imagined a career in video game design.
“I would definitely say very fulfilling, very refreshing and exciting,” Espinal said.
Espinal was introduced to the game through a program at the Harlem Gallery of Science, a partnership between City College and the nonprofit Science and Arts Engagement.
Mayor Adams recently announced that the Harlem Gallery of Science will receive a $2 million city investment to fund a City College degree in game design next year.
Making it the first public option for a bachelor’s degree in game design in the city.
“Being open to underrepresented high schools in upper Manhattan and the Bronx leads to more people like me,” Espinal said. “More women like me, more Latinas like me are being introduced to this career path, and knowing there’s so much more available to them than we initially thought.”
Dr. Veeshan Narinesingh is the associate director of the Harlem Gallery of Science and he says the program helps bridge a gap between underserved communities and the gaming industry.
“The gaming industry, a billion dollar industry,” Narinesingh said. “One problem is that people in underserved communities don’t have access to these professions. These well-paying professions.”
And like Espinal, he knows what it’s like to be in a field full of people who don’t look like him.
“I just walked into some of these spaces and I feel out of place and I look around and I feel a little weird,” Narinesingh said. “I don’t see anyone who looks like me. No one has a shape, you know things like that.”
Espinal said she would have felt “a bit more lost” without the program.
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