This year's festival will bring together non-profits, game designers, foundations and academics from across the U.S. and overseas to explore best practices for social issue gaming, successful distribution models, and more. It will be a chance to discuss industry partnership opportunities, with ample networking and resource sharing possibilities.
Come join us in building this exciting new field!
Parsons The New School for Design
8am – Breakfast
8:30am – Opening remarks – Alex Quinn
8:45am – Games for Change of the 20th Century – A conversation with Jim Gasperini (Hidden Agenda) and Chris Crawford (Balance of the Planet and Balance of Power) Chris and Jim will discuss their making of these first “games for change” in the late 1980s – the environment in which these inspiring games launched and how things have changed since then. Moderated by Celia Pearce
9:30am – Journalism, Games and Civic Engagement – this panel will explore the issues and challenges of the emerging interest and intersection of journalism in social issue games and civic engagement. Panelists include Nora Paul (Institute for New Media Studies, UM), Ben Sawyer (Digital Mill and Serious Games Initiative), Joellen Easton (American Public Media), Asi Burak (Impact Games), moderated by Heather Chaplin (journalist and author of Smart Bomb)
10:30am – Break
11:00am – Values@Play at Work in the Classroom
12:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm –ARGS for Change Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) harness large groups of players working towards a common goal. How can we harness this “hive mind” to approach messy real world issues in addition to the neat narrative puzzles of traditional ARGs? How might the game mechanics evolve to effectively embrace social issues? Panelists include: Jordan Weisman (42Entertainment), Frank Lantz (Area Code), Ken Eklund (WriterGuy, World Without Oil) Moderated By Peggy Weil (USC Interactive Media Division)
2:15pm - Using XNA Game Studio to Change the World – of Games: Chris Satchell, General Manager and Chief XNA Architect, Microsoft Corporation
2:45pm – G4C does TED: 10 minutes each from key voices from the field
4:00pm – Gaming the Class: Want to get serious about using games to change the world but just don’t have a budget? David Thomas (UC Denver) and Justin Hollander (Tufts) discuss the use of off-the-shelf and Web-based videogames to teach students about urban planning and design, and engage them on subjects such as equity and fairness, the public’s interest in property, the need for cooperation, and the social contest that underlies the ways our cities form. Using games such as SimCity, Dice Wars and Carcassonne, find out how two instructors have found a low-cost - and compelling - way to immerse their students in complex issues.
4:30pm - Keynote conversation with Jim Gee and Henry Jenkins in Tischman Auditorium
6 – 8pm - Expo Night sponsored by Microsoft: Microsoft Corporation and Corporate Vice President Jeff Bell invite you to spend the evening for a sneak peek of the Imagine Cup 2008 finalists game entries from the Xbox 360 Games for Change Challenge. This year, Microsoft is calling upon students to create a game that is not only entertaining but socially responsible as well. These students are imagining a world where technology enables a sustainable environment, and you get to see their game before anyone else, as they travel the road to the Imagine Cup Finals in Paris this summer. We will also showcase the latest prototypes from our new lab launched in fall 2007 - PETLab, about issues such as Malaria prevention, nutrition and carbon footprints.
10:00am – Measuring Impact: This panel explores evaluation strategies and techniques to capture and measure the impact of social issue games. Panelists will explore how social issue game evaluation is situated within other research on youth-created social issue media and within our understanding of social change in general. Panelists include Shelly Pasnik, Director of EDC’s Center for Children; Karin Hillhouse, Director of Changemaker Partnerships at Ashoka. Moderated by Alex Quinn, Executive Director, Games for Change.
11:00am – Funding Perspectives: New challenges are arising from the philanthropic sector as foundations explore how to fund the emerging use of games in the public interest. What are their current initiatives, goals and constraints? What can the community do to assist their work? Hear from the organizations taking the lead in supporting our community’s efforts, panelists include: Connie Yowell of the MacArthur Foundation, Jessica Goldfin of the Knight Foundation, Meredith Misher of the Kaiser Family Foundation and Dr. Arlene de Strulle of the National Science Foundation. Moderated by Lucy Bernholz of Blueprint Research and Design.
11:45am – It’s Elementary: The use of public media to engage elementary-aged students in social issues: is there an audience that is too young for social-impact games? This panel of children's media developers advises that if children are interested in the computer, then they are likely old enough to start learning socially-aware behaviors. Our discussion will review the ups and downs of their experiences creating children's games and websites that feature topics such as environmental awareness, global citizenship, media literacy, and civic responsibility. Carla Fischer (Teachers College Columbia University); Emily Reardon (Sesame Workshop); Bill Shribman (WGBH); Silvia Lovato (PBS KIDS GO)
12:30pm – Corporation for Public Gaming. Michael Levine of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center will briefly discuss the work of the new center as well as a new collaboration with Serious Games and Games for Change.
12:45pm – Lunch – Open It Up: Frank Lantz and Karen Sideman will reprise their open discussion with the community.
2:15pm –Moving Markets: Game industry professionals talk about the challenges and opportunities in making market-competitive, profitable games that also have a meaningful social impact. Panelists include: Robert Nashak, Vice President Worldwide Casual Studios, Electronic Arts; Richard Lemarchand, Game Designer, Naughty Dog; Christophe Watkins, Executive Producer, Artificial Mind and Movement; Austin Hill, CEO, Akoha and moderated by former SVP of Activision Studios, Alan Gershenfeld.
3:15pm – Fresh Perspectives: Youth-Created Games for Change. How do we actively engage young people from underserved communities in creating games for social change? This AMD-sponsored panel features Rafael Fajardo (University of Denver; La Migra, Crossing), Zakiyyah Kareem (GirlStart) and Global Kids (Ayiti: The Cost of Life, Hurricane Katrina game-in-progress).
4:15pm – Break
4:30pm - Closing Keynote The Honorable Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
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.