Fabrizio Darby is a third-year student studying health science and biology at the University of Miami. Understanding the importance of having meaningful yet challenging conversations around identities, Fabrizio, along with other university stakeholders, has helped develop an interactive, dialogue-based game, Answer Campus. The platform allows users to engage in complex conversations about race and other topics through scenario-based interactions. In addition to this, he regularly engages with his community by volunteering at a hospice facility and helping other university students connect to service opportunities. Through these experiences and others, Fabrizio has shown a dedication to using innovation and compassion to improve access to quality education, well-being, and social justice.
I never questioned my identity until I came to the US. I am sitting in my Biology class. A peer, who I was growing close to, uttered these words, unprovoked: You know, if you tell people you are Indian and not black, they would believe you. Silence. I did not know how to respond. However, at that moment I knew that I had to do something to change the way people discussed identity on-campus. Working with Nerdlab, a gaming company on-campus, and Creative Writing professor Jaswinder Bolina, I came up with Answer Campus. Answer Campus is an interactive, dialogue-based game that engages in conversations about race and other aspects of personal and social identity. Simulation is pivotal to the experience. Game scenarios are based on actual stories generated by student writers. Game players get to explore those scenarios anonymously in a simulated world. This allows for users to engage in difficult conversations about race in the safe space of the game. As we hope to launch a beta version by the end of this semester, my goal is that taking part in conversations in Answer Campus will translate to positive interactions and experiences in the community around me.