Designing Health and Social Impact Games for Chicago’s Youth

Date(s) - 06/19/18
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Hosted by
Chi Hack Night

Chi Hack Night – Designing Health and Social Impact Games for Chicago’s Youth

Chi Hack Night

June 19, 6pm

According to a CDC report, 14.4% of girls and 6.2% of boys attending US high schools reported sexual dating violence, and the American Association of University Women reports that during the 2010-2011 school year, 48% of students experienced sexual harassment.

Coming out of University of Chicago’s Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) Game Changer Chicago Design Lab (GCC), Bystander is a game-based sexual violence prevention program that is comprised of a video game and a curriculum for youth aged 14-18 years. Using the power of games, Bystander challenges young people to play an active role in ending the attitudes and behaviors that can contribute to disrespect, harassment, and sexual violence among adolescents. Drawing upon behavioral theories, this game is designed to promote the skills, attitudes, and awareness that empower adolescents to help end sexual violence.

Ashlyn Sparrow, Game Designer and Director of Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab (GCC), will give a demo of Bystander and discuss the importance of integrating a youth-friendly storyline and visual design in each player scenario that touches upon critical sexual assault topics. A seasoned game designer, Ashlyn will also share why GCC is exploring health and social issues through video and analog games.

The Chi Hack Night is a free, weekly event in Chicago to build, share and learn about civic tech and tools to create, support, or serve public good.

Join us every Tuesday from 6-10pm on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart to hear from interesting speakers, learn from each other and work on civic projects. Non-techies are very welcome!

What happens at a hack night?

Every week, we have a 10-15 minute presentation by a government agency, non-profit, company or group who’ve made use of open data or built a civic technology application. The goal of these presentations is to showcase the different uses and opportunities, as well as challenges and successes in the civic technology movement.

After the presentation, the format of the event is similar to that of a hackathon where breakout groups self-organize to work on civic apps, discuss policies and their implications, learn technical skills and network with a welcoming and diverse community at the intersection of technology and government.

But I’m not a techie!

That’s ok! We encourage non-technical folks to pair up and learn from our community’s designers and developers. We’ve seen time and time again, he best civic projects come from teams with a diverse background.

Remember, there’s much more to making a great app than just coding.


Derek Eder, Christopher Whitaker and Juan-Pablo Velez

The Chi Hack Night is organized by Derek Eder, Christopher Whitaker and (formerly) Juan-Pablo Velez. You can contact them here.

Every month, we hold an open Leadership Council Meeting to discuss new ideas and ways to make the hack night better. Anyone is welcome to join!