G4C Festival: Games & Media Summit Lineup Revealed

The Games & Media Summit is one of the options offered on the first day of the Games for Change Festival and is included in our All Access passes. Or you could grab your One-Day Summit pass here.

Keynotes: Nick Fortugno and Lance Weiler

In his opening keynote, digital designer and Playmatics co-founder Nick Fortugno will share a look at the future of impact-focused media. Later in the day, Lance Weiler, a storyteller developing film, TV, and gaming projects, will examine the promise and potential of interactivity.
From The Monitor Celestra LARP. Photo by John Paul Bichard.
Case Study of The Spiral: Cross-platform integration to scale

The Spiral, a massive European co-production, drew 100,000 visitors to its online game and drove thousands of players to museums to find clues, as its six-episode TV art heist drama aired. Nordic LARP (live-action roleplay) designers Cecilia Dolk, Martin Ericsson, and Bjarke Pedersen discuss their work on The Spiral, and how integrating LARPs into TV production can add to the experience and impact.
Funders Panel: Adjusting to a moving target

A session exploring the goals, considerations, and potential of games and media, from the perspective of the funders who make it possible: Marc Ruppel (National Endowment for the Humanities), Wendy Ettinger (Chicken & Egg Pictures), Karen Helmerson (New York State Council on the Arts), and moderator Michelle Byrd (Run It By Byrd).


Full schedule:

9:15 – 9:45 a.m. Opening Keynote: Nick Fortugno
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Documentary Interactions: Never Alone and Fort McMoney
10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Case Study of The Spiral: Cross-platform integration to scale
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Optimizing for Impact and Creativity:
Empowering artists with assessment tools
12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Collaborations and Machinima with Jim Munroe
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch and Film Screening (HAPHEAD)
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. Keynote: Lance Weiler
2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Choose Your Own…: New hybrid platforms
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Speaking Each Other’s Language:
Collaborations between filmmakers and game creators
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Funders Panel: Adjusting to a moving target



One month until the Festival

Are you ready? Pick up your passes before prices go up on April 11 and save $50.

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G4C Festival: Talks on diversity and inclusion

Along with an inside look at the best games for social impact, April’s Games for Change Festival will explore issues of representation, gender, diversity, and inclusion in games, as our speakers highlight how to make games a welcoming space for all.


Twine for Change
The text game-making tool Twine has proven to be remarkable for making impact games. Game creators, including Merrit Kopas (Consensual Torture Simulator), discuss their work, their goals, and the many kinds of impact Twine is having, with moderator Naomi Clark (Consentacle).


Rami Ismail: International access and gamedev.world
Come hear more about gamedev.world, a new effort to break through the language barrier to help grow game development in countries with non-English-speaking populations. We’re proud to partner with Rami Ismail of Vlambeer and Sarah Elmaleh on this, and look forward to Rami’s keynote talk and to the arcade he is curating for the Festival, featuring lesser-known games from around the world.

What Gamergate Means for Triple-A Games and Developers’ Creative Process
A panel of game makers from high-profile projects, including Alexandria Neonakis (The Last of Us), Matt Boch (Fantasia: Music Evolved), and Anthony Burch (Borderlands 2), will discuss whether, why, and how the industry can help games become a more inclusive medium.


That’s not all. Also look for:

  • Deconstructing GaymerX: Founder Matt Conn shares the origin of this LGBT-oriented gaming convention, how recent events have shaped it, and the future of queer gaming spaces for gamers.
  • Post-Colonial Thought in Games: Designer Steven Fox looks at elements of colonialism found in modern games, such as Civilization and Starcraft, and how these translate in the real world.
  • Transgender Issues in Gaming: From Street Fighter to Dragon Age, video games have a long history of transgender characters. Charles Battersby of Press XY examines where the industry is heading in terms of letting players explore gender roles through games.


Only 1 month left in regular registration 
Pick up your passes before prices go up on April 11 and save $50.

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Introducing the G4C Industry Circle:
A group of pioneering organizations


In a first-of-its-kind effort to acknowledge the achievements and opportunities in the games for change sector, we are pleased to announce a new initiative called the Industry Circle.

We are recognizing some of the businesses and entrepreneurs who are taking risks, developing viable business models, and emerging as leaders in the sector. We believe that identifying and sharing best practices and lessons learned can inspire and invite others to forge new paths in the field.

As part of this initiative, Industry Circle members are lending generous support to this year’s G4C Festival, where they will also share some of the keys to their success with our community at the Town Hall Q&A.

Industry Circle Members


Amplify is reimagining the way teachers teach and students learn. Ampliy products enable teachers to manage whole classrooms and, at the same time, empower them to offer more personalized instruction, so that students become more active, engaged learners.
Play some of their games: TyrAnt, Twelve a Dozen, Mlob Rule

With their collection of animated educational content, BrainPOP supports teachers, engages students, and bolsters achievement in classrooms and at home. Their learning games library, GameUp, features over 100 games from partners and is lauded by educators, players, and parents alike.
Play featured games: Quandary, After The Storm: Day One, Codemonkey

Filament Games
A creator of digital learning games and interactives, Filament Games’ mission is to deliver best-in-class teaching solutions that foster 21st-century skills through experiential learning. Their games have seen over 28 million plays and 40,000 paid downloads on Steam.
Play some of their games: Crazy Plant Shop, Reach for the Sun, Backyard Engineers

GlassLab Games
Through its threefold approach, GlassLab Games aims to improve the learning games space by developing games, assessing the impact games have on student outcomes, and providing developers with tools for easily implementing the infrastructure and transparency that teachers require.
Play their games: Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy EDU, SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge!

Global Gaming Initiative
A social enterprise enabling gamers to convert play time into tangible social donations. Their games are making a difference in the lives of children in need through the gifts of bicycles, soccer balls, and life-saving malaria treatments.
Play their games: Sidekick Cycle, Winning Kick, Outbreak Responder

Kognito is a leader in driving positive changes in behavior by allowing players to practice challenging conversations with emotionally responsive virtual humans. Their experiences have addressed chronic disease, PTSD, and social issues, and are the first simulations listed in the NREPP.
Play some of their games: Together Strong, Start the Talk, Change Talk

Schell Games
One of the biggest independent game studios in the U.S., Schell Games specializes in creating transformational games. With a decade of game-making experience, they’ve worked with world-famous brands, such as Yale University, The Fred Rogers Company, Disney, and Microsoft.
Play some of their games: Lexica, Tunnel Tail, PlayForward: Elm City Stories



Town Hall: Meet Industry Circle leaders

As part of this effort, the Festival will include an interactive session with Industry Circle members on Thursday, April 23. The 90-minute exchange will feature short talks by leaders from each organization, followed by a Q&A and open discussion of the existing and changing landscape. The session is open for all Festival registrants, first-come, first-served! Register now.


Regular registration pricing ends in 5 weeks

Pick up your passes before prices go up on April 11.

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2015 Games for Change Awards nominees announced

Drumroll, please! Here are your nominees for the Games for Change Awards, which celebrate the year’s best social impact games. Narrowed down from a field of over 150 titles, these eight finalists will also be considered for the top honor, Game of the Year, which is awarded to the game that best exemplifies all three categories.

The winners will be announced at the Games for Change Festival‘s Awards Ceremony on April 22, hosted by Jesse Schell.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their game and to our jury of leaders from the gaming community, philanthropic sector, media, and tech, who dedicated their time to rigorously evaluating all entries.

Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)
Developer: E-Line Media
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac
An atmospheric puzzle-platformer created in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people, and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s Upper One Games. Nearly 40 Alaska Native elders, storytellers, and community members contributed to the game, which shares, celebrates, and extends Iñupiat culture through engaging cooperative gameplay.

This War of Mine
Developer: 11 bit studios / Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Experience war from an entirely new angle. Instead of fighting as elite soldiers, players lead a group of innocent civilians, who struggle to survive another day in a city under siege. Players make life-and-death decisions, driven by their conscience.

That’s Your Right
Developer: Filament Games / Platform: Web/Online
A captivating single- or multiplayer digital card game that teaches students in middle school and high school about the first 10 amendments of American Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights. The game is integrated into the comprehensive, multimedia Constitution curriculum at AnnenbergClassroom.org.



Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)
Developer: E-Line Media
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac
Also nominated for Best Gameplay. (See description above.)

Developers: GainPlay Studio, The PlayNice Institute
Platforms: Windows, Mac
A 3D game that uses the mind as a game controller. Using a neurofeedback headset, it incorporates evidence-based relaxation techniques and attention-bias modification methods to help children learn to face and overcome their anxiety and fears.

Zoo U
Developer: 3C Institute / Platform: Web/Online
The first evidence-based game that assesses and builds social emotional skills. Through adaptive, personalized gameplay, children navigate social situations in a virtual world and learn essential social emotional skills for the real world, including communication, cooperation, and empathy.



Developer: Game Oven / Platforms: Android, iOS
A dancing game for two players, with choreography by the Dutch National Ballet. Holding either end of a device, players tilt the device around a virtual sphere, following a path of rings on-screen. Players swing their arms and twist their bodies, and before they know it, they are already dancing.

Skip a Beat
Developer: Happitech / Platform: iOS
The world’s first game that uses the player’s actual heart rate as the game controller. Players control their heart rates to earn score multipliers, while the game provides feedback on how their heart rate is changing. The game challenges players to influence their heart rates using thoughts, emotions, and breathing.

Parable of the Polygons
Developers: Nicky Case, Vi Hart / Platform: Web/Online
A playable blog post demonstrating how seemingly harmless choices can make a harmful world. This half-video-game, half-blog-post is formatted like an article, but with dozens of embedded games. Based on the work of Nobel Prize-winning game theorist, Thomas Schelling, the game shows how small individual biases can become large institutional biases.


Tracy Fullerton
This year, we honor Tracy Fullerton with the annual Game Changer Award, which recognizes the significant global contributions of individuals who inspire and mentor new generations of game creators and researchers. Tracy is an acclaimed game designer, educator, and author whose work has received numerous industry honors. She is currently the director of the joint USC Games Program, and associate professor and chair of the Interactive Media and Games Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Play these games at the G4C Festival

These games and more will be available to play at the Festival! Attend our Awards Ceremony and see who wins. Register now.

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G4C Festival: Early-bird savings end TODAY // Games & Media Summit info

20% Discount Ends Tonight

Our early-bird deadline, February 20 at 11:59 p.m. ET, is mere hours away.

Register now and save big: up to $100.
Games and Media Summit:
At the All-New Tribeca Creative Hub

Through keynotes, panels, workshops, and screenings, this daylong summit will explore new and innovative platforms, including interactive documentaries, transmedia campaigns, films that play like games, and games that incorporate film, all to inspire social progress.

Join us at the Tribeca Film Festival’s new Creative Hub at Spring Studios.

  • Opening Keynote: Nick Fortugno, Playmatics. Game designer Nick Fortugno, who has worked extensively on projects with both filmmakers and game makers, highlights the tremendous potential of the crossover territory between games and linear media for social good and outlines what the ecosystem is and can be.
  • Case Study: Cross-Platform Integration to Scale. Learn firsthand how The Spiral, a massive international production, drew 140,000 visitors to its online game, drove thousands of players to museums to find clues, and built a live-action role play (LARP) into the very fabric of a TV art heist drama. Speakers: Cecilia Dolk, Martin Ericsson, Bjarke Pedersen.
  • Funders Panel: Adjusting to a Moving Target. A session with leading public media funders to discuss the goals, considerations, and potential of this evolving space.
  • Panel: Speaking Each Other’s Language. Lessons learned and insights from collaborations between filmmakers and game creators. Speakers from: Minority Media (Papo & Yo, Spirits of Spring), the National Film Board of Canada, and Concordia University.
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G4C Festival: Learning Games Lineup // Early-bird discount ends tomorrow

G4C15_learning games lineup_banner_blog

Learning games are always a cornerstone of the G4C Festival, and this year, we’re proud to present related programming and talks from leaders in the sector.

Angry Birds Transforming Education
Hear from the team behind Rovio Fun Learning and Angry Birds Playground, which aim to transform education through deep research, play-based education, and legions of Angry Birds players worldwide. With partners such as NASA, CERN, and the National Geographic Society, Angry Birds maker Rovio aims inspire children and feed their curiosity with wonders and challenges of the world. Speakers: Peter Vesterbacka, Sanna Lukander, and Lauri Jarvilehto.

Social-Emotional Learning Games:
Why they’re our future

Leading social-emotional learning (SEL) game developers share the most broadly scaled, effective, and innovative games. Come away with a thorough knowledge of how SEL games bolster achievement on the Common Core and 21st-century skills, what’s next for research in this fast-emerging field, and what strategies can be taken for scaling these games in K-12 and informal learning environments nationally.

Scientific Exploration with NOVA Labs:
Real science, real data, and you

See how NOVA’s latest production, Evolution Lab, tackles the big ideas and misconceptions about evolution and attempts to counter the efforts being made in some states to remove the teaching of evolution in science classrooms by working with their outreach partners. This talk also takes a broader look at collaboration among scientists, game developers, and content producers in creating the NOVA Labs platform.

From Concept to Market:
Building games for schools

Filament’s PLEx Science suite of games is one of the few major commercialization efforts in the games-based learning space. Hear about the entire life cycle of a contemporary learning game – from development to research to launch – and about the philosophies and practices of the largest dedicated learning games developer in the U.S.

A Federal Perspective on Social-Emotional Learning in Game Development

Most learning games focus on teaching educational standards, but games can also help players build empathy and challenge stereotypes. Russell Shilling, the executive director of STEM at the U.S. Department of Education, will discuss government-funded game-based learning efforts, as well as current research into SEL games, why these games are important, and how federal agencies are addressing critical issues of emotional intelligence.


That’s not all. Also watch for…

  • Networking: Sign up for one-on-one meetings with learning games leaders at Meet the Experts.
  • Senate Immersion Module: Play a live simulation of the U.S. Senate with 99 other attendees, in a game originally designed for students and visitors at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute.
  • Town Hall: Bring your burning questions to learning games developers at a lively moderated session, followed by a Q&A.
  • Games: Our arcades will highlight examples of the most innovative learning games, both physical and digital.



Early-Bird Deadline is Tomorrow:
Save $100 on Festival passes

The best prices on Festival passes end on Friday, February 20 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Get 20% off by picking up yours today.

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G4C Festival: Indie Super Discount, Playcrafting Demo Night


Indie Super Discount

Based on your feedback, we’re offering deeply discounted G4C Festival tickets to independent game makers, who work alone or in small teams and are eager to come to the Festival in April. Limited tickets are available by application to make registration highly affordable for indies who could not otherwise attend the event.

Answer a few questions here, and once we review your application, we’ll send you a discount code that can save you hundreds of dollars!


Demo Night: Made-in-NY games for change

In New York on Thursday night? Hear the stories behind seven games for change from top local developers at our Demo and Play Night, co-hosted with Playcrafting NYC at Microsoft’s offices. We’ll have these games on-site for attendees to play and plenty of pizza for all (courtesy of SuperMighty).

Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa) E-Line Media
Never Alone is the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. Switching between an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her arctic fox companion, the player completes puzzles throughout a story based on Alaskan folklore.

Mission US: City of Immigrants THIRTEEN/WNET, Electric Funstuff
The Mission US series of free online games aims to increase young players’ understanding of U.S. history. City of Immigrants follows Lena Brodsky, a young Jewish immigrant to New York City in 1907, who works long hours in a factory for little money.

Slam City Oracles Jane Friedhoff & Jenny Jiao Hsia
Slam City Oracles is inspired by the painful messaging that young girls and women receive about their bodies: the constant pressure to be smaller and quieter. It presents a fantastic space where women are invincible, powerful, and free.

Choosing My Way Dozen Eyes
Supplementing educational programs for immigrants and refugees resettling within the U.S., Choosing My Way presents scenarios from the resettlement experience. The game uses Euro-style board game mechanics to avoid binary win/lose scenarios.

Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy GlassLab
Aligned to the Common Core State Standards, Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy brings STEM content into the English language arts classroom and helps middle schoolers develop persuasion and reasoning skills.

MasterSwords Asymmetric Games, published by Amplify
Words are your weapons in MasterSwords. Explore whimsical environments and battle unsavory creatures on your journey, using only your words to defend you.

Twelve a Dozen Bossa Studios, published by Amplify
From the makers of Surgeon Simulator. Twelve, the game’s heroine, is on a mission: to find her family members who disappeared after a cataclysmic event. With her companion, Dot, she solves math-based puzzles to rescue her loved ones. 


Get Your Passes: 20% Discount Expires on Feb. 20!

We’re in our final days of early-bird registration. Save $100 and more by reserving your spot at the G4C Festival today.


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The latest from our speakers & two weeks left for early-bird pricing

G4C15 logo blog_s

Since announcing our line-up for the Festival, we’d like to share more about our speakers and their exciting work. Here’s an update on what they’ll be bringing to the Festival audience on April 21-23.

A Path Appears
With decades of experience in shining light on global and domestic challenges, affecting change, and analyzing effective solutions, Pulitzer-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn will share at the Festival their latest work and thoughts around games and new media for social impact. Following the session, they will sign copies of their most recent nonfiction book, A Path Appears. If you missed it, their book’s companion TV series, which follows their reporting on human rights violations in the U.S. and other countries, is airing now on PBS and online. Tune in to the third and final episode on Monday at 10 p.m. EST.

Promoting games for change
from around the world

Rami Ismail, head of business and development at game studio Vlambeer, is one of the most appreciated indie developers working today. He speaks frankly about the issues facing the games industry at large and helps create tools for other indies to use to promote their work. At the Festival, Rami will examine how to increase awareness and access to game-making in underserved international communities, and in addition to speaking, will showcase games from hard-to-access areas around the world.

From games to film and back

Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) has proven time and again that he knows how to make impact on screens big and small. At the Festival, he’ll connect his in-depth investigations in film to his first and continuing love for video games. Until then, check out his latest project, the TV series Inside Man, which takes on important topics through insider investigations. Season three is now airing on CNN, and seasons one and two are available on Netflix.

How VR will change games

Oculus Rift’s Chief Scientist Michael Abrash, a groundbreaking programmer, will share his vision of virtual reality as the platform for the future and the implications for games for change. Previously, he worked with John Carmack to pioneer 3D graphics for Quake and subsequently led Valve’s pioneering work on virtual reality. Today, he is building the team at Oculus that will keep pushing the technology forward and turn VR into a consumer-friendly experience.

Cultural liberation through game design

Meg Jayanth, writer of mobile game 80 Days, and Amy Fredeen, a leader on Never Alone‘s development as CFO at E-Line Media and EVP of Cook Inlet Tribal Council, will speak to Barry Joseph from the American Museum of Natural History about amplifying the voices and stories of indigenous and marginalized peoples through games. Hear how two of the top games of 2014 not only provided remarkably engaging experiences but also inspired empathy for and piqued game players’ interest in under-represented cultures.


Ending soon: Save up to $100 on Festival passes

The best prices on Festival passes end on February 20. Get 20% off by picking up yours today.

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2015 Festival Speaker Line-Up: Spurlock, Kristof, WuDunn, Abrash, Rovio & more!

2015 G4C Festival speakers
From the most successful mobile games to cutting-edge virtual reality projects, this year brings the best G4C line-up yet. Read more about our keynote speakers here, and join us in person April 21-23!


Beyond Games

  • Nicholas Kristof, NY Times columnist, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of A Path Appears
  • Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of A Path Appears
  • Morgan Spurlock, Acclaimed Filmmaker, Super Size Me
  • Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist, Oculus VR


Game Makers

  • Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio Fun Learning, Angry Birds
  • Rami Ismail, Vlambeer, Ridiculous Fishing
  • Meg Jayanth, Writer, 80 Days (Time Magazine’s Game of the Year)
  • Jesse Schell, CEO, Schell Games
  • Frank Lantz, Director, NYU Game Center
  • Eric Zimmerman, Game Designer, faculty at NYU
  • Colleen Macklin, Game Designer, Parsons the New School for Design
  • Naomi Clark, Game Designer, Brooklyn Game Ensemble
  • Adriaan De Jongh, Game Designer, Bounden
  • Cecilia Dolk, Martin Ericsson, Bjarke Pedersen, Nordic LARP creators, OdyssĂ©


Less than one month left to save on passes

Get 20% off all passes by February 20. New in 2015, we’re offering two free tickets to a select Tribeca Film Festival screening for All Access passes!

Register Now

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Show your game to 275,000 people at our Public Arcade!

1501_G4C15_public arcade_w strip

Show your game on the streets of New York City to an audience of 275,000 people at the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair!

We’re bringing our daylong G4C Public Arcade (April 25) back to the city’s biggest family street fair — this year with improved pricing and shared tent opportunities!

In its first year, the G4C Public Arcade hosted more than 10 game companies sharing digital and live-action games for attendees to play, along with attractions like 3D printing, bicycle spin art, making low-fi games in under a minute, and more. We showcased family-friendly games alongside other Tribeca Family Festival exhibitors like Disney, ESPN, and Cartoon Network. See pictures and details from the 2014 G4C Public Arcade here.

Prices vary by tent size and the addition of optional equipment, with individual booths starting at $7,500 and shared booths at $2,000. Each participant receives:

  • One 9′-tall high-peaked Tentnology tent (individual or shared)
  • 6′ tables and folding chairs
  • 18” x 24” sign for branding
  • 20-amp power service
  • Optional: Interior decor, tech equipment rental (laptops, tablets, screens, etc.), Wi-Fi

Other benefits include:

  • Passes to the G4C Festival at NYU Skirball (April 22-23)
  • International, national, and local media impressions
  • Logo visibility on G4C Festival collateral and Tribeca Family Festival website and map
  • Inclusion in G4C press releases
  • Full access to post-event photos and videos

Space at the arcade is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To get started, please email our VP of partnerships Susanna Pollack for more information.

All games presented are subject to approval by Games for Change.


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