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On January 27, 2017, twelve high school youth-artists from SAY Sí’s HIVE (Home for Innovation & Video Ecology) New Media program will showcase “Date Me Super Senpai,” a newly developed dating sim, at the PAX South conference in San Antonio, TX.

The game’s developers, ranging from ages 14 to 18, sought to create a gaming experience in which players would not feel limited by their differences. Youth-artists worked collaboratively for 6 months to develop “Date Me Super Senpai,” an open-world RPG (role-playing game) set in a high school for superhumans, where players can explore the school and make different choices affecting who they can date and how they are perceived by other characters.

Still in its development stages, the game’s superhuman characters represent people of all body types, gender identity and sexual orientation. This means that any player can feel represented as they try to survive the stresses of school and find love in this simulated world. Following the conference, youth will finalize the game to be released fully in the summer.

PAX (Penny Arcade Expo), the country’s largest consumer gaming convention, began in 2004 in Bellevue, Washington, and since expanded to four different locations, Seattle, WA (PAX West), Boston, MA (PAX East), Melbourne (PAX Aus), and San Antonio, TX (PAX South).

PAX South, the last and most recent extension, set the PAX record for the highest attendance for an inaugural year in 2015. This year local game designer and SAY Sí teaching artist, Rick Stemm, worked with organizers to bring local developers to the forefront, with a showcase of San Antonio developers and cultural institutions on the convention floor. With his support, 100 student badges have been distributed to local youth studying game development representing Northwest Vista College, Trinity University, The Art Institute of San Antonio, Blue Star’s MOSAIC Student Artist Program and SAY Sí.

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