‘Never Alone’ Named Game of the Year at the 12th Annual Games for Change Festival

Day 2 of Programming for Gaming Festival also Featured Keynotes by NA3M Founder & CEO HH Prince Fahad Al Saud, Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn, and President and CEO of Entertainment Software Association Michael D. Gallagher
 
Schell Games CEO Jesse Schell Awarded $10,000 Prize at the Pitch Event to “HappyPlayTime” Game Which Promotes Female Sexual Empowerment
 
www.gamesforchange.org


April 22, 2015 (New York, NY) — Games for Change, a non-profit organization that catalyzes social impact through digital games, today announced that Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), which was created by E-Line Media and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council of Alaska, was named winner of the “Most Significant Impact” and “Game of the Year” awards. The Games for Change (G4C) Awards, which was hosted by Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games, took place at the 12th Annual Games for Change Festival as part of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T.

Additional winners included Bounden, developed by Game Oven, and This War of Mine, developed by 11 bit studios, which won “Most Innovative” and “Best Gameplay,” respectively. The Awards are voted on by a blue-ribbon jury featuring leaders of the gaming community, philanthropic sector, media, and tech. And in a new category announced this year in partnership with Mashable, This War of Mine took home the first ever “Mashable + Games for Change People’s Choice Award,” as voted on by fans online.

While presenting the award for Most Significant Impact, Erika Gregory, director of N Square, issued a call to action for game makers: design a digital game that tackles nuclear security. “We need your help to raise awareness about the threat of nuclear weapons and inspire the connected generation to take on this wicked problem,” said Ms. Gregory. N Square is a new collaborative by some of the nation’s largest security funders created to catalyze innovation to make the world safer from nuclear proliferation. “The Cold War is over, but the likelihood of nuclear calamity may be greater now than it has ever been. The nuclear security sector needs new perspectives and inventive thinkers accustomed to collaborative problem solving. I believe the people we need are sitting in the audience tonight.” The collaborative will release the terms of the challenge to game makers next month.

In addition to this year’s winners, G4C awarded Tracy Fullerton with the “Game Changer Award,” which recognizes the significant global contributions of individuals who inspire and mentor new generations of game creators and researchers. Fullerton was recognized for her work as director of the joint USC Games Program and the Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

The Games for Change Festival also featured an onstage pitch session that gave select few games-in-development the chance to make their case to top funders from the worlds of industry, foundation, government, and private equity. The winner of this year’s pitch event was Tina Gong for her game HappyPlayTime, a sex-education game which aims to promote female sexual empowerment. And in a surprise twist and announcement, Schell Games rewarded $10,000 to Gong to further develop her game.

Programming from the second day of the Games for Change Festival featured keynote presentations by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (A Path Appears) who shared their latest work and thoughts concerning games and new media for social impact; President and CEO Entertainment Software Association Michael D. Gallagher, who shared highlights and insights into the video game industry and the positive impact it is making; and NA3M Founder and CEO HH Prince Fahad al Saud who broke down NA3M’s role in redefining the perception of Arab identity, as well as bridging cultural caps between East and West. Archived video footage from each of the keynote presentations, as well as panels and discussions, can be accessed via this link: https://livestream.com/g4c/.

The Games For Change Festival continues tomorrow with day three of programming, with highlights that include keynotes by Michael Abrash (Chief Scientist, Oculus VR), Morgan Spurlock, and more. For more information, as well to play any of the nominees from this year’s awards, please visit http://www.gamesforchange.org/festival/gameplay/.

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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 who believe in the positive impact of games. Support for the festival is provided by Zynga.org, Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Global Gaming Initiative, and Schell Games. Content partners include: Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. For more information, please visit http://www.gamesforchange.org/festival.

About the Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival (tribecafilm.com/festival) helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.

Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling. The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,600 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4.9 million attendees and has generated an estimated $900 million in economic activity for New York City.

Press Inquiries:
Games for Change:
Sunshine Sachs: g4c@sunshinesachs.com
212-691-2800

Tribeca Film Festival:
Tammie Rosen, trosen@tribecaenterprises.com
212-941-2003