Game Designer Jesse Schell to Receive “Game Changer” Award at 2013 Games for Change Festival

Game Changer Award acknowledges significant contributions of a practitioner by being a champion, advocate, and mentor for a new generation of game creators

May 29, 2013 (New York, NY) – Jesse Schell, an award-winning game designer, acclaimed author, CEO of Schell Games, and Distinguished Professor at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, will receive the debut Game Changer Award during the Games for Change Awards Ceremony of this year’s 10th Anniversary Celebration on Tuesday, June 18th.

Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games and a faculty member at the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center as well as the former Creative Director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed book, The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, that won the prestigious Front Line Award. Since founding his company, Schell has grown it to be the largest video game studio in Pennsylvania. Schell Games specializes in creating transformational games, or games that change people for the better. It recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as well.

In addition to receiving the Game Changer Award, Schell is also one of six Gaming Thought Leaders invited to provide a Keynote during the Festival. He will also unveil the first look at two games: Lexica, an immersive game world focused on getting students to read more, and Mukashi Mukashi, a syntax and story-telling game based on Japanese folklore. Both Lexica and Mukashi Mukashi are among the first games in the slate to be released in 2014 by Amplify, an independent subsidiary of News Corporation dedicated to reimagining K-12 education by creating digital products and services that empower students, teachers and parents in new ways. (Both sessions will take place on Tuesday, June 18th.)

The Game Changer Award is a special honor that recognizes significant, global contributions of practitioners who inspire and mentor new generations of game creators. Asi Burak, Co-President of Games for Change, reiterated why Schell is deserving of this year’s award:

“Through his work, teaching, and incredibly successful talks, Jesse inspires young game designers and students to look at their craft beyond its commercial value. He has become one of the most vocal voices in support of the transformational power of digital games. And Jesse walks the walk by dedicating much of his studio’s work to educational and social change related projects. Jesse is a perfect role model for aspiring designers, as throughout his career he has led by giving back: sharing his knowledge, expertise and enabling others to excel.”

Additionally, Schell’s studio, Schell Games, is sponsoring an initiative called “Game Designers of Tomorrow,” which provides 100 students with discounted admission to the Games for Change Festival. The initiative also invites ten universities to provide complimentary access to two game design students who exhibit a passion in gaming, as well as potential for advancing social impact. More details about the Game Designers of Tomorrow initiative are below.

The Games for Change Festival will take place from June 17-19 at New World Stages in New York City. Hosted and created by Games for Change, a non-profit that catalyzes social impact through digital games, the Games for Change Festival is the largest gaming event in New York City and the leading international event uniting game creators with others interested in accessing and furthering the positive social impact of games. Over the years, the festival has played host to speakers ranging from VP Al Gore to the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor.

Game Designers of Tomorrow
For a limited time only, Games for Change is offering students reduced prices for its 10th Anniversary Festival. The first 100 students interested in the promotion can register for $100 for all three days of the Festival using the promo code “designtomorrow.” Only currently enrolled students are eligible to enter (a valid student ID will be required), and a copy of the student ID must be sent to studentID –at– gamesforchange –dot– org at the time of registration. Registration is limited to one ticket per student and is non-transferrable. After 100 registration slots have been filled, students can still register for the Games for Change Festival at the regular price of $325 per ticket. This promotion covers the cost of the festival ticket only; travel and lodging costs are not included.

# # #

About The Games for Change Festival
The Games for Change Festival is the largest gaming event in New York City and the leading international event uniting game creators with others interested in accessing and furthering the positive social impact of games. Major support for the festival is provided by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and Partners include: Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and the Tribeca Film Institute. For additional information and to register: #G4C13

Tickets for the 2013 Games for Change Festival: Tickets are currently on sale until June 7, 2013 and can be purchased online at

Media Credentials: Media must be credentialed in order to attend. To request media credentials, please submit requests by June 11th to Jacob Taylor: Taylor –at– sunshinesachs –dot– com

About Games for Change
Founded in 2004, Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. The organization aims to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good and most recently served as the Executive Producer for the incredibly successful Half the Sky Movement: The Game inspired by the global movement created by Pulitzer-Prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. To further grow the field, Games for Change convenes multiple stakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects.