This year's festival will bring together non-profits, game designers,
foundations and academics from across the
The highlight of the festival is the Expo Night on Monday June 11, from 6 – 8pm, sponsored exclusively by Microsoft, where we will play games, meet each other, and enjoy food and drink in a lively and informal atmosphere. And don’t miss the first (but not last!) 2007 Games for Change “GaCha” Awards, give to the best games from the past few years.
Come join us in building this exciting new field!
Monday, June 11
9am Welcome, Suzanne Seggerman, President of Games for Change
9:15am Opening Remarks: Alan Gershenfeld, CEO of Netomat; formerly ran Activision’s Studios; co-author of Game Plan; filmmaker, writer and board member for FilmAid International, Fab Foundation and Games for Change.
9:30am A Keynote Conversation with Chris Melissinos
10:15am Virtual Activism, a mixed-reality panel exploring the work and communities of non-profits and informal learning institutions inside the virtual world of Second Life, with panelists: Susan Tenby (TechSoup); Evonne Heyning (Amoration); Jeska Dzwigalski – InWorld (Linden Lab); moderated by Beth Kanter, bethkanter.com
11:45 Market-sector Impact – Games for change are not just "non-profit games" but have started to make an impact in the commercial space. What are the for-profit models and commercial ventures that play a role in the emerging field, and how can these entities in turn affect and support new games and game-based initiatives being created. Panelists include Alex Chisholm ([ICE]3 Studios, MIT, NBC); Eric Brown (Peacemaker, ImpactGames); Stephen Friedman, mtvU; moderated by Heather Chaplin (journalist, author of Smart Bomb, The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution)
12:30pm Lunch – break-out sessions by region
2pm SGI Overview – Ben Sawyer, Co-Director of the Serious Games Initiative, gives a brief update on the initiative as well as how he envisions what role Games for Change will play moving forward.
2:30pm The Teen Scene – High School and Middle School students in New York City are doing more than just playing games. They are creating, modding, evaluating, and even making movies out of them. Come here area teens from a variety of after school programs report on their activities and describe the impact this is having on their lives. Panelists include young people from: Global Kids, Computers for Youth and Bronx River Art Center, moderated by Barry Joseph, Global Kids
At Tischman Auditorium:
4:00pm Eric Zimmerman, (CEO, gameLab) presents: Where Are All the Good Games for Change? – The Game Design Challenges of Real-World Content, an interactive session engaging audience members in the ideas and processes of game design around social issues. Designing good games is difficult, and designing good games with new kinds of content is even more challenging. In this participatory lecture, Eric explores some of the fundamental issues related to representing social content within a games. How can games depict social and cultural issues in ways that other media cannot? What are the limitations of games as a representational medium, and how can these limitations become an advantage? In addition to just discussing these important ideas, the session will include interactive exercises with the audience that bring these game design ideas to life.
4:45pm Clive Thompson (technology features writer, New York Times, Wired Magazine) presents: Grass Roots Gaming: How digital games have become the new graffiti for artists, activists, and teenagers. In this presentation, Clive will discuss why some of his favorite serious games aren't complex, subtle sims -- but caustic, blunt, rough-edged online entertainment. What can we learn by looking at the real grassroots of serious gaming?"
At Lang Student Center:
EXPO NIGHT – 6 – 8pm Please join us at the 4th Annual Games for Change Expo Night, sponsored exclusively by Microsoft.
Come play games, meet each other, and enjoy food and drink in a lively and informal atmosphere.
Expo Night Agenda
6:00pm - Bob Kerrey, New School President, Welcome
Tuesday, June 12
8am Birds-of-a-feather working group breakfasts for anyone wanting to join a group to discuss issues relating to games and social issues. Sign up on our wiki.
10am News from the Field: Ellen Scott of Games for Change and Pratt, will moderate an open forum for community members to share their news on latest developments, new games launched and in progress, as well as other important initiatives in the field.
10:15am Funding Perspectives – Several foundations are taking the lead in actively exploring and funding the emerging uses of games media in the public interest, many of the people on panels and in the audience among their initial grantees. Where are they in their current initiatives and where do newer foundations fit in? What can the community do to assist their work? Panelists: Connie Yowell, Director of Education, the MacArthur Foundation; Diana Rhoten, Program Director, Cyberinfrastructure, National Science Foundation; moderated by Lucy Bernholz, Founder and President of Blueprint Research & Design
11:00am Games in Civic Education and Engagement: New Research, New Learning, New Approaches to Old Problems What happens when we join parallel learning theories from offline civics with those of games? We will consider how demonstrating games learning might relate to a California evaluation of service learning. We will consider whether games are good tools for the popular "values-based" education discourse. We will consider how games might make key civic education issues like gerrymandering suddenly accessible. Featuring experts in evaluation, game design, game studies. Panelists: Joseph Kahne, Dean of the School of Education, Mills College; Douglas Thomas, USC; Mary Flanagan, Hunter College, moderated by Benjamin Stokes, Program Manager, the MacArthur Foundation
11:45am Gaming 21st Century Play - Are Games Rewiring Our Culture and Vice Versa? For most of recorded history adults have sought opportunities for play within formally delineated times and spaces. Suddenly, we are seeing people play everywhere, with everything, all the time. They play with and on their gadgets. They play with their social surround in real and virtual public spaces. Adults are starting to play like kids - not just for recreation, but for experiment and constant new learning. Does this culture of play reflect a new way of looking at, and thinking about, the world? Frank Lantz and Karen Sideman lead an informal, audience-participation-heavy discussion on how playing and making games has given rise to a changed culture - and the evolving characteristics of a game-centric view of the world around us.
12:30pm Lunch: Continued Conversation about Games and 21st Century Play
2:00pm Media Policy and Games: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? – Adam Green of MoveOn.org discusses the implications of Net Neutrality and the work of MoveOn.org in relationship to the Save the Internet Coalition. With this talk, G4C will launch their first public policy initiative and the G4C-MoveOn Gamers Task Force. Ted Castronova of Indiana University and Arden: the Virtual World of Shakepseare, will discuss the deep affinities between game design and public policy design and how these two fields will inevitably have an impact on each other. Moderated by Dave Rejeski, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
2:45pm Strategies for an Ecology of Change – Much of the recent work around games for the public good has focused on the design of the “game.” For some, this is a worthwhile starting point but one that may miss many of the opportunities that abound in locating the “game” within a larger ecology of gaming that brings questions of distribution, learning, policy, and ideology into direct conversation. Greg Costikyan (Manifesto Games), Katie Salen (gameLab Institute of Play), and Ken Wark (New School) discuss their own strategies for development and support of such an ecology, pointing to differing modes of action and intervention into a gamespace infused with the ordinary tension of change in the everyday. Moderated by Carl Goodman (Museum of the Moving Image)
4:00pm A Moment of Crisis! Case Studies from the Trenches – Some of the field's leading “social issue” game designers pick a difficult moment in their game design process which created a crisis or conflict to examine in depth. They will describe how that conflict arose, what the criteria were they used to asses the problem, how they solved it, and whether or why they were successful. Failures and successes included! Panelists: Tracy Fullerton (Co-Director EA Innovation Lab, USC; author of Game Design Workshop); Ian Bogost (Georgia Tech, CEO Persuasive Games); and Chris Swain (Co-Director EA Innovation Lab, USC; author of Game Design Workshop) Moderated by Jessica Irish (Wellesley College, OnRamp Arts)
5:00pm Closing Address – Allison Fine, author of Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age (Wiley), Senior fellow at Demos: A Network for Thinking and Action
5:30pm - Close
A growing movement is using digital games for positive social change. Such
games have recently been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times, NPR,
CNN and beyond. (See press highlights from last
year’s conference .) As digital games at large become a mainstream
form of media, just as film did decades ago, the social change community is
also embracing them as powerful and distinctive tools -- read more on our Why Games page.
Games for Change (G4C) provides support, visibility and shared resources to individuals and organizations using digital games for social change.