Presented in collaboration with the Cultural Services of the Embassies of France in the US and Canada, Unity, and Games for Change
 
From March 20 – March 28, G4C hosted the Cross-Cultural Impact Jam, a week-long virtual event with support from Unity and the Cultural Services of the French Embassies in the U.S. and Canada. The event brought together approximately 70 student developers from Canada, France, Senegal, and the United States to participate in activities that explore how to design for social impact and workshops on the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the games industry. Students worked in groups of four to develop a prototype experience in Unity around Amplifying Voices.
 
The Cross-Cultural Impact Jam’s activities occurred over an entire week, allowing for collaboration between teammates across global time zones, providing time for students to balance their school and personal schedules, and encouraging a counter-crunch mentality. At the end of the jam, we celebrated a week of cross-collaboration, and four student teams were honored with superlative awards. Three additional teams received honorable mentions:

Most Creative Award: Automated Days – Play as a warehouse worker in an industry that only seeks to become more efficient, despite human well-being.
Honorable Mention: Healing Heart
Making an Impact Award: Mask – A game about masking, as well as the risks and rewards of revealing yourself to others.
Honorable Mention: On the Flip Side
Best Visual Design: Piggy – In this horror-themed platformer game, you are a pig trying to escape a slaughterhouse.
Honorable Mention: A Night Without A Home
Grand Prize Winner: Paving the Way – The user experiences what it’s like to be a visually impaired person by helping them navigate through town using tactile paving.

This jam is part of Games for Good and Transitioning to Virtual Exchange, initiated by the French Embassy in the U.S., the FACE Foundation, and its partners, and part of Unity’s Social Impact Program.
 
If you’d like to learn more about the jam, check out the case study, watch the student interviews, and play their games on the Unity Play platform!

 
Special Thanks to Our Partners:

 
Participating Schools:

  • Arizona State University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Centre for Digital Media
  • Cnam-Enjmin
  • Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar
  • Ecole Supérieure Multinationale Des Télécommunications
  • Groupe IAM (African Management Institute)
  • IIM DIGITAL SCHOOL
  • ISART DIGITAL
  • Langara Centre for Entertainment Arts
  • New York University
  • POLE 3D
  • Polytechnic School Thiès
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Sheridan College
  • Spelman College
  • Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
  • Université virtuelle du Sénégal


  • About the Cultural Services of the French Embassies
    The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promote the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in 10 cities across the US, the Cultural Services bring creators and entrepreneurs to North America and build partnerships between French and North-American NGOs, companies, institutions, and universities. The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. coordinates the Games for Good program, which aims to build a more inclusive gaming industry through workshops, delegations, and training programs, and co-created the Transitioning to Virtual Exchange Covid-19 Relief Fund, which lends support to education-related French-American collaborations in the virtual sphere.
     
    The Cross-Cultural Game Jam was produced with support from the French Embassy in Canada and the Consulate General of France in Quebec.
     
     
    About Unity
    Unity (NYSE: U) is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content. Creators, ranging from game developers to artists, architects, automotive designers, filmmakers, and others, use Unity to make their imaginations come to life. Unity’s platform provides a comprehensive set of software solutions to create, run and monetize interactive, real-time 2D and 3D content for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. The company’s 1,800+ person research and development team keeps Unity at the forefront of development by working alongside partners to ensure optimized support for the latest releases and platforms. Apps developed by Unity creators have been downloaded more than five billion times per month in 2020. For more information, please visit www.unity.com.
     
    About Games for Change
    Founded in 2004, the Games for Change (G4C) mission is to empower game developers, XR creators, and social innovators to drive real-world change through games and immersive media. G4C’s signature program is the annual Games for Change Festival, which virtually welcomed 6,800 registrations and participants in 2020. G4C has numerous programs that advance serious gaming and learning initiatives, including the Games for Change Student Challenge — a national game design competition for public middle and high school students that has reached over 27,000 students over the last five years.