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Virtual Game Design Course During Pandemic

The Loyalty Foundation worked with Human Rights First (HRF) to provide a free coding and game design course delivered via Zoom. This was the first coding program for all the student participants, many of whom are immigrants and first generation children of parents taking refuge in the US from violence in Central and South America..


Client: Human Rights First (HRF)
Location: Virtual for students in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, DC


Program Details

Program(s): Gaming4Good

Services: Enrichment

# of Families Served: 10

# of Hours of Programming: 47


How We Helped

Program Structure

LF provided computer science instruction as a weekly one-hour virtual session to several distinct groups of HRF students organized by grade level. The course title was “2D Game Design with Scratch”, where students learned to develop their own video games by coding them using the Scratch visual programming language. Each lesson was grounded in the latest research in project-based learning (PBL) principles. Students built authentic technology projects to demonstrate their knowledge and presented their deliverables to peers in a final culminating exhibition.

Program Results

The coding camp was taught by a single technology instructor, with expertise in the Scratch visual programming language ( Two groups of students received 90 minutes per week of instruction over a 15-week period. The curriculum was project-based with the students developing 3 original Scratch projects (a 2D animation, a single-player maze game, and an egg catch game). Each project grew in complexity with certain computer science skills required at each stage. 


For the cartoon, students learned the basics of computational thinking – specifically, the idea that coding is a language in which humans give instructions to computers to achieve a goal. The initial goal was to develop a 30-second animation with several digital sprites interacting in a multitude of scenes. The following project, a maze game, required students to learn and use inputs and outputs, having a player control a “maze runner” using the keyboard. In addition, conditionals were introduced (i.e. if/then statements). Lastly, with the egg catch game, students added integer variables to the project to keep track of score and lives, which was akin to the considerations that a professional coder and game developer would have to consider in her own globally published project.


Students presented their projects to the instructor and to their peers at the conclusion of the program stating the challenges that they faced during design and development. Projects were shared so that peers were able to play each other’s games and give feedback and positive encouragement.

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