Announcing the 2021 G4C Awards Finalists! 🎉
June 3, 2021 / by Cassie Baralis
Today, we are excited to announce the finalists for the 2021 Games for Change Awards! This year’s awards are the most competitive and global in the Festival’s history – with over 200 submissions across six categories: Best Gameplay, Most Innovative, Most Significant Impact, Best XR for Change, Best Learning Game, and Best Student Game. Over 65 jurors came together to determine this year’s finalists!
“This year, many of the G4C Awards finalist games are from emerging developers,” says Susanna Pollack, President of Games for Change. “More than half of our finalists are from international teams, with studios from the US, Canada, England, France, Germany, Chile, and Korea. We are thrilled that the finalists reflect the global audience of the greater Games for Change community.”
“The 2021 Finalists are quite reflective,” says Noelle Mazurek, who manages the G4C Awards. “Many of our finalists address global themes over the last year. How do we move forward during a public health crisis? In what ways can we reconcile with grief and loss? How do we combat extremism in our communities? And what can history’s circumstances teach us? All of these questions are tough to answer, but many of our finalists show that we are actively contextualizing these questions and redefining what a brighter future will look like.”
The 2021 Game For Change Award finalists are:
BEST STUDENT GAME:
Heirloom (Abby Sherlock, Kathryn Yu of USC Games)
Moving (Claire Hu, Meny Menczel of USC Games)
Respite (Kayden Chan, Klaiis of Sheridan College, Luxiere)
SYNDESI (SYNDESI Team, Produced by Léa Pernot, Adrien Daugy of ISART Digital)
Each year, G4C recognizes companies, charitable organizations, and people who are making a big impact on the games industry. This year, we are thrilled to honor the following recipients of the Vanguard Award, Industry Leadership Award, and Giving Award:
Mark Barlet of AbleGamers will be honored with the 2021 Vanguard Award for championing accessibility and amplifying the voices of disabled gamers. Since he founded AbleGamers in 2004, Mark has been widely regarded as one of the leaders of accessibility and assistive technology in the games industry. Mark constantly works with and connects developers to their players to incorporate accessibility options through hardware and software. AbleGamers directly supports over 300 disabled gamers a year and provides thousands of people with tools to ensure that video games are playable by all.
Niantic will be the 2021 G4C Industry Leadership Award recipient for its ongoing work in social justice, the environment, and well-being. Through Ingress, Pokémon GO, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Niantic enriches the physical world while encouraging exercise, exploration, and social interaction. Programming such as their Black Developers Initiative provides resources and support to Black creators to build amazing game experiences that inspire people to explore the world together. Niantic consistently innovates to make the world a better and more inclusive place through games and immersive technology.
Games Done Quick will receive the 2021 G4C Giving Award for their community speed-running events. These events feature high-level gameplay by speedrunners raising money for charity. Since 2010, Games Done Quick has raised more than $31 million for charities worldwide, including Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Direct Relief, AbleGamers, Malala Fund, and Organization for Autism Research.
2021 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD:
We are excited to partner with Facebook Gaming for the G4C People’s Choice Award! Be sure to vote for your favorite title of the 13 Award nominees in the Best Gameplay, Most Innovative, Most Significant Impact, and Best Learning Game categories. The winning game will be recognized on the biggest night of the Games for Change Virtual Festival during the G4C Awards Ceremony!