Institute of Play Unveils Talks, New SimCityEdu & NASA Games at G4C Festival

By Ilena Parker, Senior Communications Manager, Institute of Play

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Institute of Play is proud to partner with Games for Change this year to show festivalgoers just how irresistible learning can be. As a content partner of the Games for Change Festival, we’re bringing a number of talks, activities, and (of course) games to venues around New York City from April 22-24 and 26.

Collaborating for Change | April 22 at 2:45 p.m.

On the first day of the Festival, leaders from our venture GlassLab will take the stage to share how the Lab’s unique collaboration model gives unlikely partners a platform to take a stand against the engagement crisis that is wreaking havoc on our nation’s schools. In the talk, which is called Collaborating for Change, GlassLab will discuss how a multidisciplinary approach can create impact at scale by activating and empowering developers, educators, and a whole host of other collaborators with a role to play in 21st-century learning.

One of GlassLab’s most recent collaborators is NASA. The space agency, with its extensive library of educational resources, has spent decades inspiring people to wonder, to ask questions, and to deeply engage with our world. How can we leverage NASA’s experience and resources to engage kids while helping them develop the skills and ways of thinking that lead to college and career success?

GlassLab will also officially announce and launch the Lab’s second game, a tablet game created in collaboration with NASA. As a much-anticipated follow up to SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! (released in November 2013), this launch is not to be missed by anyone interested in checking out the fruit of GlassLab’s unique collaborative approach – and learning what the future holds for educational games.

Designing for Impact | April 22 at 3:45 p.m.

Also on Tuesday, GlassLab Games Director Michael “MJ” John will join a panel to discuss how commercial games can engage players in social causes. In Designing for Impact: How Commercial Games are a Platform for Engaging Players in Social Causes, experienced game designers will share how they leverage the built-in audience of commercial games to achieve social impact at scale, without sacrificing the game experience or the business results. It’s a fine balancing act between often competing priorities, but when it works, it can provide a powerful and promising way to solve the world’s most complex challenges. The other panelists in this conversation include Abby Speight from Zynga.org, Jude Ower from Playmob, and Oliver Miao from Pixelberry Studios.

Games for Change Public Arcade at Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair | April 26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This is an especially exciting year to be a part of Games for Change, as the Festival partners with the Tribeca Film Festival to shine a light on what games can do as an interactive medium for experience and expression. The Games for Change Public Arcade will be open to the public all day on Saturday, April 26, during the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair.

At the Games for Change Public Arcade, Institute of Play is proud to present games and activities from the innovative New York City public school Quest to Learn. At this school, Institute of Play game designers collaborate with teachers to develop game-like lesson plans as well as actual games that students play in the classroom. Visitors to Institute of Play’s tent can try some of these games and game-like activities from Quest to Learn to find out how we go about using games in the classroom to engage students and improve learning outcomes. Families can also learn some tips and strategies to use while playing games at home to tap the full learning potential of any gameplay experience.

And of course, GlassLab will also be on hand at the Street Fair with a hands-on demo of the tablet game they designed in collaboration with NASA – the first public demo of the game following the launch on April 22!

Everyone is invited to stop by and play at the Street Fair on April 26!

Buy your tickets before April 13, when regular registration ends and ticket prices go up for late registration.

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