Games for Change 1

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Jun 8 2004

Location: 

New York, NY, Online

Games for Change is a community of game designers, activists, artists and individuals focused on creating and using digital games for purposes of social change. Games for Change is a large and loose community, but it has a major nonprofit organization at its center, who organizes the majority of the meetups and work of the movement. The group's mission is to "faciliate the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts". The group is a hybrid of many different experiences in game design, video art, activism, and nonprofit organization that has many different aspects. Primarily, the organization funds and supports people and groups who are creating games with a social message, that teach about other cultures. A few of the most prominent games produced by the community are "Half the Sky: the Game", an extension of Sheryl WuDunn's work on providing global opportunities for women; "Bioharmonious", which explores the trouble of naigating the balance between nature and development; and "Papers, Please", a 1980s-style Soviet-esque indictment of current immigration policies and propaganda. In all the games supported by Games for Change, there is a crucial aspect of education and calls for further action.
One of the primary focuses of Games for Change is youth involvement in action and education of young people on social issues. One of its major programs, called "Changing the Game", focuses on the education of kids from 13 to 18. In the program, designers and educators help teach children how to create games that reflect their own experiences. The program has a global focus and is interested in involving as many different people as possible in creating games, as well as introducing children to ways in which to use technology as a creative outlet for action and education.

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