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Posts Tagged ‘Grabowicz’

Remembering Seventh Street

Posted by Miranda on March 5, 2008

I heard an interesting piece on NPR last night during my drive home. It was about a video game some journalism students are developing about the history of 7th Street, in Oakland, California. The game is called Remembering Seventh Street.
Paul Grabowicz is behind it and has an interesting post about it at MediaShift’s IdeaLab.
Seventh Street has a history as a blues music scene and Mr. Grabowicz writes:

I had been frustrated by the limitations of a print story to really give people a sense of what 7th Street was like. Creating a virtual world replica of 7th Street offered the opportunity for people to actually experience the music scene in a way that no other media form could approach.

I think this is a really cool idea. Our school’s experience with using Civilization III in classes has been very successful. Why not virtual experiences on all sorts of topics?
I think of my brother’s recent pilgrimage to Memphis and how it has moved him and given him a greater understanding of the music that he loves so much. Not everyone can travel there but a virtual world and game based on the history of Beale Street would be a wonderful thing…

Every community in America has a 7th Street – some aspect of its heritage or history that has been lost and could be brought back to life in a video game. Since we started the 7th Street project, we’ve learned about similar jazz and blues club scenes in cities all across the country – from Detroit and Houston to Newark and the Bronx.

A newspaper or other local news organization needs to be more than just a pipeline for informing people about current news and events. It also should provide context for people to understand their community and its history.

A video game can do that, by letting people re-live the history of their communities and understand not just what’s happening today but what came before.

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