Recently, our co-president Asi Burak had the privilege to do a guest editorial on Kotaku, one of the Internet’s most popular contemporary video game websites.
In the recent months, Kotaku’s been taking a more critical approach towards the game community and industry by inviting other guest writers like Ian Bogost. The opportunity to share our unique views on a forum that speaks to every aspect of the gaming industry is a challenge and one Games for Change wanted to take seriously. The contemporary view of “games for change” inside the gaming community is one of much skepticism. As mentioned in our article, the idea of “games changing the world” is a pleasant thought and makes for great headline copy. At the end of the day, once the cheerleading is over, someone has to show the crowd what’s actually been done. The gaming community is smart and knows better not to take hyperbolic ideas at face value.
In an effort to put our money where our mouth is, we decided to share with the Kotaku audience what change games have made so far. No theory, no grandstanding, no self-congratulatory talk – just information about games or game-related projects that have measurable results and sustainability strategies. We focused on some of the most key areas that games for learning, health, and social change are tackling and gave the audience hard evidence of results, a brief context for each project, a quick mention of other projects to keep an eye out for, and more importantly, relevant reasons why anyone should care.
While we admit we had certain expectations for how the editorial was going to be received, we were surprised by the amount of enthusiasm and support. Two comments really stood out to us:
We’d like to consider these two comments and many of the others, as a change in the tides. These comments should also stand as an example that “typical gamers” do get it. That’s not to say that the challenge of changing the general public is now gone, but it should be a glimmer of hope for all the game designers, NGOs, funders, and larger groups looking to make an impact through games.
To read Asi’s editorial, visit Kotaku’s website. And if there are any points you’d like to discuss, feel free to comment below.