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I don’t think there’s a gamer out there who hasn’t been hounded by a parent to turn off the video gaming system of choice and do his or her homework. I’m sure some gamers get the last laugh when they start a high-paying career in game development, but most parents still fail to see the educational value of video games. Maybe if they hear about GameDesk, they’ll change their tune. It’s a Los Angeles, CA based “non-profit research and outreach organization designed to help close the achievement gap and improve academic outcomes by reshaping models for learning through game-play and game development.” Yes, it may be hard to believe for some, but critical math, english, and science concepts can be tough through games.

Playing Against the Achievement Gap

GameDesk originally came out of the University of Southern California’s Integrated Media Systems program, and it’s now been around for more than two years. GameDesk works directly with teachers, scholars, game-designers, and school administrators to bring the organization’s methodology (which you can read about here) to more and more students in the Los Angeles school system. In fact, GameDesk is currently in the process of working with The Gates Foundation to launch “a games-based charter school” in Los Angeles in 2012. How cool is that? Now, GameDesk doesn’t have any job opportunities posted on their Idealist page at this moment, but you have to think that some will be coming as the launch of the school gets closer. For now you should check out their volunteer opportunities and internships in Charter School Research, Math and Science, Unity and GameMaker Programming, and Writing/Editing. Or you could just reach out to them and see if they have anything full-time.

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