Isaiah Richburg grew up playing video games with his dad.
“Gaming was always a part of my childhood,” he said. “I enjoyed the idea of being able to escape into an entirely different world, and now I like to see how creative game designers can be with their ideas.”
Isaiah, who graduated from KIPP Atlanta Collegiate, is hoping to become a game designer himself. Inspired by his artist uncle, Isaiah has taken up painting and sketching. Among his favorite subjects are game characters and hip hop artists.
“My art is still developing; it’s a work in progress,” he said. “I try to use a lot of color.”
As a first-year student in the Honors College at Georgia State and a Class of 2023 Presidential Scholar, Isaiah is studying computer science. The subject, he says, allows him to combine his love of gaming and art with practical skills, such as coding. But equally important is his desire to expand the culture and community around gaming.
“I want to make games that give people in minority or marginalized groups a voice,” he said. “You look at most games nowadays, and the options for black characters are pretty terrible.”
Isaiah also wants to study the effects of gaming on developing adolescent brains.
“Instead of just determining whether playing a game or not might make someone have violent tendencies, I want to try to measure how many people went with a violent option or a passive option while playing a game,” he said. “I think it would shed light on the whole argument about video games and violence.”