Announcing the first 2017 Games for Change Festival speakers

Games for Change Festival 2017

Announcing the first keynote speakers!

Early-bird extended through May 4

The three-day Games for Change Festival and VR for Change Summit will feature keynote presentations from Megan Smith (former White House chief technology officer); Gabo Arora (founder and creative director at LightShed); Anjali Bhimani (actress/voice of Symmetra in Overwatch and Nisha in Fallout 4); Luke Crane (head of games at Kickstarter); and many more.

Looking forward to this lineup? We’ve extended our early-bird rate on all Festival passes for one week! Buy yours before May 4 and save!

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VR for Change Summit logo

The first of-its-kind VR for Change Summit will focus on advancing virtual technologies for positive social change, bringing together developers, artists, storytellers, journalists, researchers, activists and policymakers for dialogue, demos, connections and debates focused on new initiatives to advance the field.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, will illustrate that use of virtual reality and innovative apps have impacted empathy and continue to revolutionize the way people access reproductive health care. Gabo Arora, founder and creative director of LightShed and maker of VR documentaries Clouds Over Sidra, Waves of Grace, and My Mother’s Wing, presents a historical overview of visual media and its uses for empathy. Amy and Ryan Green, the creators behind the award-winning game That Dragon, Cancer, share how they’re bringing their experience to VR. Aldis Sipolins, head of VR and game design at IBM, will provide an overview of presence and ecological validity in psychological research.
G4C Festival Games for Learning Summit track, with Alphabear

Deborah Quazzo, co-founder and managing partner of GSV Acceleration, will provide a perspective on what developers and investors should know about the future of the games for learning market. Constance Steinkuehler, professor at University of California Irvine, presents 10 big findings for games for impact from over a decade of research. David Edery, CEO of Spry Fox, will share the process of developing an educational version of his studio’s popular, unbearably cute game Alphabear. Jane Robinson, CFO of First Book, examines what educators and after-school providers want from GBL products and how they browse, evaluate, purchase learning games. The team behind EduApps4Syria will look to mobilize the G4C community to help reach and serve some of the most vulnerable kids in the world through their open-source platform.
G4C Festival Civics & Social Issues track, with an image from Molleindustria's Casual Games for Protestors

Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, presents the institute’s groundbreaking research tool, the GD-IQ (Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient) to evaluate gender representation in media. Nicole Rustad, former corporate citizenship program manager at Disney, will give a talk on 10 years of kids helping kids in the virtual world of Club Penguin. Tracy Fullerton, USC Game Innovation Lab professor and director, discusses games in the arts and humanities, with examples from Walden, a game. Politics and game-making will take center stage as Paolo Pedercini, professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the game maker behind Molleindustria, examines protest games and playful resistance, and Colleen Macklin, associate professor at Parsons School of Design, highlights the political potential of games and play, and how they can change public opinion. Mary Flanagan, director of Tiltfactor Lab at Dartmouth College, makes the case for evidence-based design.
G4C Festival Neurogaming & Health track, with an image from Project Discovery in EVE Online

Go behind the scenes of Ubisoft’s game to treat lazy eye, Dig Rush, with Joseph Koziak, CEO of Amblyotech, and Luc St-Onge, associate producer at Ubisoft. Hear how players are making scientific contributions through EVE Online with Attila Szantner, co-founder of Massively Multiplayer Online Science, and through online protein-folding game Foldit with Seth Cooper, assistant professor at Northeastern University. David Miller, program officer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides overview of health-relevant federal funding opportunities supporting game development. Moran Cerf, neuroscientist and professor at the Kellogg School of Management, how we can use recent understanding of the brain to improve experiences. Deutsche Telekom’s Wolfgang Kampbartold discusses how co-opting simple everyday behaviors like gaming can allow us to use mobile technology and big data to solve some of society’s most urgent problems with updates from Sea Hero Quest.

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