During his first year at Stanford, Half Moon Bay High School graduate David Pantera said an important takeaway involved giving back to the community.
“One of the things they taught me very early on is that there are very few things that are more important than giving back to the community that (you’re) part of,” he said.
Over the summer, Pantera began interning with Conteneo Inc., a software company in Sunnyvale. It seemed to him like the perfect opportunity to put his community commitment into practice.
He was taking part in a product marketing internship and the idea was to work on the rebranding of a game called “Knowsy” that the company developed in 2014.
Pantera is not only a Half Moon Bay High School graduate, but he also interned with the city. He began to put the game and his hometown together.
“Half Moon Bay was a perfect idea,” said Pantera of the concept of using the city as a prototype of sorts. “The goal of the game is to basically help broken communities build relationships and connections through the game.”
Not that Half Moon Bay is particularly broken, but as a small town with some competing interests, Pantera saw the potential to help bridge divides.
For him, that includes divides that appear between racial minorities and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, for example, or between the City Council members and the city’s critics.
He thought the town’s National Night Out event, held last week, would be a good opportunity for neighbors to give the game a go. He stopped by several of the block parties to drop off the game and talk about it.
“I think that was really helpful” said Pantera. “I got a lot of good feedback.” In addition to bringing groups together that might be odds with each other, Pantera said the game also has the ability to strengthen relationships that are already harmonious.
When playing the game with his mom, for example, Pantera said he picked up things about her preferences he never knew about before.
In addition to Half Moon Bay, “Knowsy” was employed in Redwood City during a town hall held in response to the state’s water crisis. Pantera also plans to send the game (15 in English and two in Spanish) to the town of Santa Fe, N.M., for use in the town’s CommUNITY Day — which is similar in theme to the National Night Out events held throughout the country.
Pantera, who is fluent in Spanish, created the Spanish translation of the game himself.
Pantera started a crowdsourcing campaign to help raise money to manufacture and ship the game to cities across the country that might be interested in using it to build and strengthen community relationships. Search knowsygame on GoFundMe.com to contribute and to learn more about the company’s efforts.
The money raised will go toward the Every Voice Engaged Foundation, which is a nonprofit affiliated with Conteneo.