A trio of electronic gaming enthusiasts is playing on kids' interest in video games to help at-risk urban students learn key math and science concepts--and possibly open doors into the lucrative game-design industry for them.

Announced at this year's Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), the Urban Video Game Academy (UVGA) is a free program that aims to reinforce core curricular subjects through instruction in video-game programming, while infusing greater diversity into the video-gaming industry.

UVGA started teaching its first group of 25 students on June 27 in Baltimore. Similar UVGA programs are set to take


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