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Games for Change: ‘social impact gaming’ celebrated at New York festival



The Games for Change Festival, New York City’s largest gaming event, gets underway next week, celebrating the innovation and development of ‘social impact’ gaming.

Founded in 2004 and now in its 11th year, Games for Change hopes to “facilitate the creation of social impact games“, as well as promote, educate and “leverage entertainment for social good“.

The annual festival will feature an assortment of gaming experts and guest speakers working in the gaming industry across the globe.

During the course of the three-day festival (April 22-24), and the one-day (26 April) outdoor public arcade at the Tribeca Film Festival in Lower Manhattan, speakers will present their gameplay visions, inventions and ideas, and explain how they can bring about social change.

There will be a range of talks, panel discussions and game demonstrations covering many different themes, including how to design and engage commercial games for social impact, as well as gender inequality in games and gaming culture.

Experts like Noah Falstein, chief game designer at Google, will discuss the rapidly evolving technology, and look at the implications this evolution may have on the Games for Change approach.

Midway through the festival, a Games for Change Awards ceremony will take place, which looks to pay tribute to those individuals who have made the greatest contributions to games that do social good. There will be winners from each of the categories for the year in most innovative, most impactful and best gameplay, and a further one winner for game of the year.

On this evening, a game changer award will be presented to Dr James Paul Gee for his work on the learning attributes in digital games, and how ultimately video games hold the ability to have a real impact on people’s lives.

Photo: Joao Paulo via freeimages

Further reading:

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Digital energy: how can web technology be used for energy behaviour change?

Sustainable investment in the age of technology

Top 5 climate change board games