The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) today announced the recipients of the ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship. The 20 ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellows, aged 16 to 24, were awarded grants for creating video games that seek solutions to problems in their communities.
"At the core of the ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship is the belief that using technology for social change or career paths is essential to not only the advancement of minority communities, but America as a nation," said Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of HHF. "Through this creative partnership with the ESA, we are engaging youth on their terms, through video games. The link from playing a video game to developing one to computer coding, cybersecurity and other skills gap areas is evident and that’s also what we are trying to leverage through this program."
The Video Game Innovation Fellows, and their games, were selected based on their vision, creativity, and potential impact on their community. On December 4, the Fellows will present their ideas to influencers and policymakers in Washington, DC after flying in on Southwest Airlines, the official airline of LOFT and HHF.
"The ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship shows how games are more than a means of entertainment, but also a valuable tool for change in our society," said Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications and industry affairs at the ESA. "We are proud to offer this opportunity that will help create real change in minority communities through the unique platform only video games can provide."