15 Years of Games For Change

Thu Aug 02 2018 (01:03:05)

The organization Games for Change is hard to describe as being just one thing: they throw a Festival that happens every year in NYC, and that's been the backbone of the organization, but around that has grown a really important community of artists and activists, educators, computer scientists, developers, funders, and game studios who believe deeply in the power of games for improving the human experience. Sometimes that's about empathy for other humans, sometimes it's about zooming in on something remarkable, sometimes it's about simply tapping the playfulness in all of us. When I think of Games for Change - some might call them Serious Games - I think of titles like Dys4ia, a flashgame by the legendary Anna Anthropy - quoting from Wikipedia, "to recount her experiences of gender dysphoria and hormone replacement therapy". There are hundreds of titles, and many would argue that the boundaries between "serious games" and others is really about your game design practice, more than genre. They can be blurry, when you put them up against Educational Games, or even virtual environments where the outcomes aren't purely a play for revenue.

I've been really lucky to be a part of this organization's evolution as a participant at the festival, as a partner to their student game design challenge in my role at Mouse, and as a member of the community that gains so much from the vision they put forward 15 years ago. I feel like an Anniversary gift is in order, and while I didn't send chocolates to founders - Ben Stokes, Barry Joseph, Suzanne Seggerman - it felt like the next best thing to spend some time with G4C President, Susanna Pollack, and give you a chance to hear from two winners at this year's festival.

3 Conversations, 15 years of Games for Change - enjoy.

Notes from this episode:

Games For Change: http://www.gamesforchange.org/

Attentat 1942: http://attentat1942.com/

Attentat 1942 Gameplay: https://youtu.be/kLct7kVW1sM

Charles University: https://cuni.cz/

About Assassins Creed, Origins for Education: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/arts/assassins-creed-origins-education.html

STEAM: https://store.steampowered.com/

Technology Student Association: http://www.tsaweb.org/

Play Garrett at Chameleon School: http://tsabms.bsd.k12.pa.us/VideoGameDesign/Team903/

2018 G4C Student Challenge Winners: http://www.gamesforchange.org/studentchallenge/awards-2018-student-challenge/