Game Design Associates

Graduating Class of 2021

Aarya Agarwal

One of the greatest issues for us today is promoting intergenerational communication. With rapid changes to technology and the way we interact, keeping ancient traditions and culture alive has become increasingly difficult. For me, preserving and sharing my Hindu culture has always been important however, Hinduism is largely preserved through stories and teachings from elders. This is what has made Games for Seva so personally important to me. I learned our Vedic heritage through many years of weekend classes. My work with Games for Seva has made it possible for me to share these same learnings with people of any age group. Our games make intergenerational communication a much less arduous task. And on top of its greater importance, Games for Seva is a lot of fun. After a long day of work, unwinding with the team over a pie of pizza and then staying up late for a movie night is unmatched. Rathi Aunty’s kit kat bribery and numerous teaching moments pushed us all to new levels of efficiency and taught us all valuable work ethic skills and tips for the future.

Saniya Gaitonde

I believe that each individual has a unique sense of creativity that can be harnessed for good. As a student it is easy to lose touch with our innate creativity, but at Games for Seva we have the opportunity to nurture our creative interests in an individualized way for an important cause. Exploring the intersectionality between design, Vedic history, and gameplay has had a profound influence on the development of my values as well as my professional skills in writing, design, and interpersonal relations. I am a student at W. Tresper Clarke High School (c/o 2021), where you can find me leading Model UN meetings or working on my research. I am passionate about politics, wealth disparity, criminal justice, and race issues. I have been attending YICG since I was seven years old, beginning with Bharatanatyam and picking up Hindi, Public Speaking, and Vedic classes along the way. YICG has given me a platform to explore many different facets of my culture, and enabled me to solidify my identity as a young Indian-American in the 21st century.

Preesha Modi

It completely boggles my mind how just 26 letters come together to form thousands of words and a practically infinite amount of sentences. I am a junior at New Hyde Park Memorial High School with a passion for science, and changing the world through writing. The science driven part of me likes to learn about how and why things work the way they do. Games for Seva has helped me apply that interest to my culture. In this journey at Games for Seva, I have learned many intriguing stories about Hinduism, and more importantly discovered the morals it teaches. I found that all religions, especially Hinduism, are successful because they teach morals necessary to better individuals, and eventually society. I love having the opportunity to take Hinduism, and transform it’s stories and values into a game meant to excite people of all ages about religion. For me, the best part is putting my ideas into words, and agonizing about some of the moral dilemmas the games have put me through. In my many hours spent writing at Games for Seva, I have learned diligence, marketing skills, teamwork, and most importantly, improved my moral compass.

Khushi Shah

I’ve been an aspiring writer since before I could even read chapter books. In kindergarten, I used to write stories on paper in crayon while my classmates played with magnets or drew pictures. As a current junior at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, I’ve kept writing as an outlet that affords me freedom in nearly any situation. I discovered that I had an eye for grammar and structure that helped me stabilize my work. After joining Games for Seva at its start as a seventh grader, I worked on multiple parts of the game design process, such as brainstorming and playtesting, and quickly learned that I held a certain affinity for editing our material. I found that I was able to accommodate both lengthy writing and short, concise material as my love for editing grew alongside my age-old love for writing. One of my favorite projects, Ganga Quest, featured my love for storytelling in a gaming context. Not only has Games for Seva fostered my love for words of any kind, it has also given me a cultural channel to express myself and spread knowledge of my culture through entertaining games and laughter-filled development sessions. I have learned to think openly about marketing, collaboration, perseverance, and real-world application. Games for Seva has given me an opportunity to give back to my community by embracing my Indian heritage and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Pranati Patnam

I am currently a sophomore at Herricks High School. In my free time, you can find me reading or playing basketball. I involve myself musically as well, as I play piano and am in the Chamber Choir at my school. Since I was young, I have continued to show my passion for STEM through school activities. As I am participating in science research, I hope to better the world with my computer programming skills and my creative side. Games for Seva definitely strengthens my abilities as an artist and creative thinker, as well as my analytic capabilities with computer science, but most importantly it has exposed me to my Indian heritage. Developing and designing games that represent a big part of me is something I love to do, especially when I get the chance to share them with my community.