Get ready to play—the 2014 Games for Change Award nominees are here! Narrowed down from a field of over 140 titles, these eight finalists will compete for the winning prize across three categories: Most Innovative, Most Significant Impact, and Best Gameplay.
The winning games will be announced on April 23 at the 11th Anniversary Games for Change Festival, and one will be named Game of the Year, as the game that best represents all three categories.
Have questions for the developers of these nominated games? Leave them in the comments, so we can ask them in an upcoming series of interviews with the creators of these games for change.
Most Innovative Nominees
A screenshot from SoundSelf, which was nominated for the Most Innovative award.
These games best exemplify the use of creativity and technical experimentation in a manner that may pave new ways for games for change.
Developer: Robin Arnott / Platform: Mac, PC, Oculus Rift
A collision of centuries-old meditation technology with the videogame trance. Turn off the lights, amp up the volume, and use your voice to fall through an odyssey of light and body.
Papers, Please (Also nominated for Best Gameplay)
Developer: Lucas Pope / Platform: Mac, PC
From the maker of the G4C Award-nominated Republia Times comes a dystopian document thriller, where players take the daunting role of an immigration inspector for the fictional communist state of Arstotzka. You must decide who can enter and who will be turned away or arrested.
Súbete al SITP
Developer: 12 Hit Combo! / Platform: Android, iOS, Web
Bogotá’s new Integrated Public Transport System (SITP) brought Colombia’s capital more mobility but also more confusion: SITP is a complex system with fees varying by bus, time of day, and rider age. With thousands of active players, Súbete al SITP helped the city get up to speed by teaching players how to get around.
Most Significant Impact Nominees
A screenshot from the Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey, nominated for the Most Significant Impact award.
The games in this category best exemplify impact for a specific social issue with proven actions and outcomes.
Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey
Developers: THIRTEEN, American Social History Project, and Electric Funstuff / Platform: Mac, PC, Web
In the first interactive project told from a Northern Cheyenne perspective, players must react to the encroachment of settlers, expansion of railroads, decline of buffalo, and rise of the reservation system in the 1860s and 1870s.
Start the Talk: Underage Drinking
Developer: Kognito / Platform: Android, iOS, Web
This roleplaying game helps parents build practical skills and confidence to talk with their child about underage drinking in real life.
The Migrant Trail
Developer: Gigantic Mechanic / Platform: Web
Based on the 90-minute documentary “The Undocumented” by Marco Williams and inspired by learning videogame The Oregon Trail, The Migrant Trail provides a first-person experience of the hazards that migrants and Border Patrol encounter along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Best Gameplay Nominees
A screenshot from Gone Home, nominated for Best Gameplay.
These games have shown highly compelling and engaging gameplay that aligns with and reinforces social issue goals. The winning game is one that is also polished in design, functionality, and thematic execution.
Developer: The Fullbright Company / Platform: Mac, PC
June 7, 1995. You arrive home after a year abroad. You expect your family to greet you, but the house is empty. What’s happened? Unravel the mystery in this story game that challenges you to explore the secrets and artifacts of a family that seems as real as your own.
Developer: Preloaded / Platform: Android, iOS
TyrAnt is a real-time strategy game that teaches the player how ants eat, communicate and, ultimately, reproduce within a delicate and biologically diverse ecosystem. It is among the first of the science, math and English language arts games that Amplify has produced for sale to schools across the United States and, soon, internationally.
Papers, Please (also nominated for Most Innovative)
We thank our talented panel of judges, which featured leaders of the gaming community, philanthropic sector, nonprofits and education, for their lending their time and thoughtful critiques in selecting the award nominees.
Nominating Panel Members:
• Michael Astolfi, Carnegie Corp.
• Harish Bhandari, Robin Hood Foundation
• Karl Brown, Rockefeller Foundation
• Brian Chung, IGDA NJ
• Brian Crecente, Polygon.com
• Ellen Doherty, WNET
• Jason Eppink, Museum of Moving Image
• Nick Fortugno, Playmatics
• Jesse Freeman, Amazon
• Nina Freeman, Code Liberation Foundation
• Tracy Fullerton, University of Southern California Game Innovation Lab
• Nettrice Gaskins, Georgia Institute of Technology
• Robert Gehorsham, Institute of Play
• Sheila Jagannathan, World Bank
• Christer Katila, OneGameAMonth.com
• Collen Macklin, Parsons The New School for Design
• Jude Ower, Playmob
• Yaniv Rivlin, Schusterman Foundation
• Haviland Rummel, SCE
• Anita Sarkeesian, Feminist Frequency
• Abby Speight, Zynga.org
• Phil Stuart, Preloaded
• Clive Thompson, Wired, NY Times
• Stephen Totilo, Kotaku
• Greg Trefry, Come Out & Play
• John Vaskis, Indiegogo
• Pete Vigeant, ESI Design