|Ava Gray, left, interviews Ellie Skalla, of Oak Park, about the game she created.|
The 2018 Chicago Toy & Game Fair was a noisy, crowded, sprawling affair filling Festival Hall at Navy Pier over the weekend. There was no obvious focal point, but a blur of activity: wandering Star Wars characters and Boy Scouts, virtual reality, stuffed animals, board games, more than 100 young inventors hyping handmade games at science fairish booths.
Ava Gray, 12, received her press credentials, plunged in and started asking questions.
"What's your name?"
"How do you spell that?"
"How old are you?"
One of 25 young reporters nationwide who won a spot on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, the South Side 7th grader had, like any good journalist, formed a strategy for the event.
"I want to investigate the ping pong tournament and the yo-yo challenge," she said beforehand.
Before she had stepped through the entrance, however, she was snagged by a fair flack, Emily Blosser, from Brilliant PR & Marketing, who guided her toward the Young Inventor Challenge.
"They're coming up on a break," said Blosser as they walked. "The perfect time to interview. So we'll walk back there. All right?"
Gray was delivered to a pair of sisters, Emma and Kyra Bichler, 10 and 7, who talked about their game, Breakaway.
"I like code," said the older girl.
Gray never stayed in one spot long, but moved from one inventor to another, peppering questions.
"Can you tell me more about this game?"
"Did you invent this?"
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