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Alumnus Spotlight: Teresa Ibarra
Alumnus Spotlight: Teresa Ibarra
February 17, 2015

Teresa Ibarra

First World Problems: The Game

About the game

Teresa created her iPhone game, “First World Problems: The Game” at the Make School Summer Academy 2014.  It is composed of time-based mini-games that illustrate “First World problems.” The term “First World problems”  refers to issues that only get complained about in first-world countries due to a lack of more pressing problems. For example, in one of Teresa’s games, the player has to clear leftovers out of a fridge! 

Teresa: “I wanted to create a satirical game that people could relate to, […] up to a point of ridiculousness,” added Teresa. The goal was to create a game that addressed the absurdity of some of the things that our society complains about: “I hope that people realize how silly some of our “problems” really are.”


A month after publication, the game won the 2014 ESA LOFT Innovation Fellowship Award. This Fellowship Award is granted to games that address a social issue -- in this case, San Francisco’s dependency on technology. Teresa is the second Make School alum to win this fellowship, after Sophie Sheeline won in 2013 for her game ER Rush. 

In October 2014, Teresa presented her game at the U.S. Capitol and the White House. She earned national and regional runner-up for NCWIT's Aspiration in Computing award, which is given to the top young women for their achievements and aptitude in computing.

More about Teresa

Teresa has attended several hackathons and helped organize CodeDay San Francisco. She is currently developing a program with a local school to teach introductory programming and game development classes. The classes are designed for elementary and middle school students in the SOMA area, where many students are minorities. 

Teresa: “It is important to introduce and nurture any possible interest in computing” in order to democratize programming.

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