SCT Scholarship Winner: Devonte Griffiths

BY AMANDA MOSES

The Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) Scholarship Program has a history of awarding students who excel academically, demonstrate civic responsibility, and are involved in extracurricular activities. It is not surprising that many of the students who have received this scholarship continue their excellence throughout their college and working careers. SCT 2017 Scholarship winner, Devonte Griffiths, is no exception to these standards.

Griffiths is entering his second year at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, majoring in Interactive Media and Game Design. This unique major is a new course of study at his college, and it is one that Griffiths plans on further innovating throughout his college career. However, game design is no easy feat. It is a combination of creativity, discipline, patience, foresight, and an under-standing of computer science. In a way, it is the creation of digital art using software and programming.

For many, such a study is daunting, yet Griffiths is taking his courses by storm. So far he has developed three games in his classes, one which included a simple platformer and two shoot ‘em up games. He understands the basic principles of constructing a game, and he believes his freshman classes have created the perfect stepping stones leading to the more difficult courses to come. Griffiths has a positive outlook on his career path, and believes that he will be able to work through whatever comes his way.

Kind, humble, and smart; these are just a few adjectives that describe Griffiths, a personal persona that perfectly supplements his professional demeanor. He is an intellectual individual with a confident understanding of technology and game design. His caring dis-position coupled with an intense passion for gaming’s creative design is contagious and inspiring. It is quite rare to meet someone who is willing to share their knowledge on such complex subjects, and yet not make you feel inadequate.

Gaming was not a career that he had in mind since childhood. It was, instead, a pastime that he en-joyed partaking in alone and with friends. It wasn’t until his senior year in high school that he started to explore the schematics behind gaming.

Designing games isn’t his only talent. This past summer he dis-covered a knack for reviewing video games. Since July, Griffiths worked with the Spring Creek Sun during his Summer Youth Employment. “I was assigned to work with the Spring Creek Sun Editor, Pamela Stern. After learning about my studies, she asked me to try writing video game reviews. Writing the reviews came a lot easier for me than I expected, because I was able to share information about games that I enjoy, but ones that people really don’t know about,” Griffiths said.

Griffiths’ favorite game is Transistor, which could be considered the catalyst to his passion towards game design, due to its seamless gameplay. “Transistor is one of my favorite Role Playing Games (RPG) because it’s a mixed genre game that implements everything so well. I think the gaming industry is very short sighted because they rely on what’s successful, like remakes or re-releases. I think there needs to be more games that take risks, like Transistor and Horizon Zero Dawn. Also, more chances need to be given to Indie games,” Griffiths said.

Griffiths has a lot of ideas to help reinvigorate the gaming world, whether that is through game de-sign or reviewing video games that people might not have heard of. He has also always been interested in voice acting, which is another field of study inspired by gaming (and Anime).

No matter which career path Griffiths decides to follow, his future is bright.

Photo by Pamela Stern