We’re Hiring: Fall Production Intern



Games for Change (G4C) is looking for an intern to support production efforts for the organization. The intern will support projects related to event planning and management as it relates to core G4C initiatives such as the G4C Student Challenge and XR for Change. The intern will report to G4C’s Production Manager who leads on supporting the organization in cultivating, building and nurturing strategic relationships and alliances that are essential for advancing and successfully achieving the mission of G4C.

Candidates for this unpaid internship should meet the below qualifications and requirements.

Position Details:

  • Work with G4C Production Manager to produce all aspects of events across various G4C initiatives, including the G4C Student Challenge and XR for Change. Examples of events include game jams, arcades, panels, and awards ceremonies.
  • Tasks include scheduling, coordinating with venues, managing Eventbrite listings, researching/sourcing technology, managing database spreadsheets with contact info, and working with ad hoc facilitators as needed
  • Assist in production of the Games for Change Festival, particularly as it relates to online submission form management, website edits, and research related to session curation.
  • Assist in creating and editing documents and presentations.

Key Qualifications:

  • Very reliable, self-motivated and proactive
  • Passion for and interest in social impact games and education
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Strong communication skills (PowerPoint/Keynote, Google Docs) and ability to work with remote teams
  • Strong English language skills (oral and written)
  • Strong ability to produce high-quality information visually
  • Proven ability to problem-solve and multi-task in high-pressure environments
  • Able to work as part of a team in a constantly evolving work environment
  • Technical background and comfort with the following platforms/technologies preferred but not required: WordPress, Jotform, YouTube, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Daydream, Microsoft Surface, Apple iPad


Requirements:

  • Weekly commitment of ~24 hours/week; minimum of 12 weeks. Start date September 2020.
  • This position will be completely remote.
  • Internship is for school credit only.Applicants must be enrolled in a college or university level program and be eligible to receive school credit


To Apply:
To apply, please send an email with the subject line “Production Intern” to Marissa Harts, Operations Manager ([email protected]). Please send your resume as an attachment and include the following in a cover letter:

  • Overview of your interest and experience with video games and/or non-profit organizations
  • Details on any prior related experience, internship or otherwise
  • Availability (hours per week)
  • School, program and expected graduation year


About Games for Change
Founded in 2004, Games for Change empowers game creators and social innovators to drive real-world change using games that help people to learn, improve their communities, and contribute to make the world a better place. We convene stakeholders through our annual G4C Festival and foster the exchange of ideas and resources through workshops and consulting projects. We inspire youth to explore civic issues and learn 21st-century and STEM skills through our Student Challenge and train educators to run game design classes on impact games. We act as an amplifier by curating and evangelizing games for change to the public through our games arcades and awards.

We’re Hiring: Fall Partnerships Intern

Games for Change (G4C) is looking for an intern to support partnership and business development efforts for the organization. The intern will support projects related to business development, fundraising, corporate and foundation relations, and event management. The intern will report to G4C’s Director of Partnerships who leads on supporting the organization in cultivating, building and nurturing strategic relationships and alliances that are essential for advancing and successfully achieving the mission of G4C.


Candidates for this unpaid internship (school credit only) should meet the below qualifications and requirements.

Position Details

  • Support the Directors of Partnerships and Development (and other staff as needed) in research, project management, outreach and communication.
  • Assist with planning, logistics, and invitees list for G4C’s events throughout the winter.
  • Research and compile information, including contact information, on current and potential partners and funders.
  • Assist in planning meetings and events as needed.
  • Assist in creating and editing documents, and presentations.

Key Qualifications

  • Very reliable, self-motivated and proactive.
  • Passion for and interest in social impact games and education.
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented.
  • Strong communication skills (PowerPoint, Google Docs, Adobe) and ability to work with remote teams.
  • Strong English language skills (oral and written).
  • Demonstrate strong computer skills and ability to produce high-quality information visually.
  • Skilled researcher able to collect, evaluate, and synthesize information from diverse sources, and effectively present it in spreadsheets and other documents.
  • Proven abilities for problem-solving, multi-tasking, meet deadlines and work under pressure, strong follow-up skills.
  • Be able to work as part of a team in a constantly evolving work environment

Requirements

  • Weekly commitment of 20-30 hours/week; minimum of 12 weeks. Start date September 2020.
  • Position will be fully remote.
  • Internship is for school credit only. Applicants must be enrolled in a college or university level program and be eligible to receive school credit

Applying

To apply, please send an email with the subject line “Partnerships Intern” to Marissa Harts, Operations & Programs Manager ([email protected]). Please send your resume as an attachment and include the following information in the body of the email:

  • Availability (hours per week) and location
  • School, program and expected graduation year
  • Overview of interest and experience with business development and corporate/foundation partnerships.
  • Details on any prior related internship experience

About Games for Change

Founded in 2004, Games for Change empowers game creators and social innovators to drive real-world change using games that help people to learn, improve their communities, and contribute to make the world a better place. We convene stakeholders through our annual G4C Festival and foster the exchange of ideas and resources through workshops and consulting projects. We inspire youth to explore civic issues and learn 21st-century and STEM skills through our Student Challenge and train educators to run game design classes on impact games. We incubate projects through our game design challenges and executive production expertise in coalition building. We act as an amplifier by curating and evangelizing games for change to the public through our games arcades and awards.

#G4C2020 Starts Tomorrow!


#G4C2020 starts tomorrow! We are thrilled to present more than 200 speakers and over 70 hours of programming, plus numerous networking opportunities for you to connect with the global gaming community. Today we’ll be sharing some important information to make sure you get the most out of the Festival.
 
Before the event starts, please review our Festival Code of Conduct. By entering our event, you agree to uphold these rules and standards in order to make #G4C2020 an informative and safe environment for all participants interested in exploring the games-for-good community!
 
Make sure to fill out your profile on Hopin. Introduce yourself with a headline, and feel free to include any links to websites or social media profiles to make networking easier! New to Hopin? Check out this webinar to learn more about the platform.
 
Trying to plan what session you want to see? You can view the full schedule for the Festival on Sched! This online program can be searched and filtered with various tags, including curatorial tracks. Afraid you’ll miss something? Don’t worry, all sessions will be recorded and available to watch after the Festival on our Youtube Channel.
 
We know that meeting with others is important to the G4C Community, so don’t forget to connect with your fellow attendees during our Speed Networking sessions! Tomorrow we will have a dedicated networking session from 6:00 – 7:00pm EDT. Simply click the NETWORKING area from the main menu to be paired with another Festival participant for 5 minute video chats. The #G4CVirtual Marketplace will also have over 75 booths representing games and organizations throughout the world! Explore these in the EXPO area and make your next great professional connection!
 
If you have any questions, please check the FAQ in the RECEPTION area on Hopin. Festival organizers will also be accessible via the Festival Help Desk session available throughout the Festival if you have any other questions! You can find the Help Desk in the SESSIONS area.
 
We can’t wait to connect with you tomorrow for a full day of sessions and the 2020 G4C Awards Ceremony. Have a great Festival!
 
Best,
The G4C Team

Ethics In XR

A post about our last XR4C Talk and Play by XR Fellow Archit Kaushik
 
XR can be a double-edged sword; with far-ranging applications like healthcare, education, training, etc. XR shows great promise for social impact but also presents a fair share of challenges. As companies continue to experiment with the latent power of XR, questions about ethics and privacy remain unanswered. Last week, Games for Change decided to address some of the ethical and moral concerns of immersive media at its XR for Change Talk and Play on Ethics in XR.
 
Games for Change would like to thank our moderator, Kent Bye for leading the discussion and our incredible panelists: Kavya Pearlman, Galit Ariel, Thomas Ffiske and, Em Lazer Walker for giving us their insights on how to navigate the ethical and moral dilemmas of XR. Games for Change would also like to thank all the attendees for participating. We had an impressive turnout with attendees streaming in from 12 different countries, which is a testament to how much interest this topic has generated around the world. It is essential that we continue to have more such conversations and find ethically aligned ways of interacting with immersive technology.
 
Ethics being such a vast topic, and each panelist brought their own slice of expertise to the discussion. Thomas Ffiske, the editor of Virtual Perceptions called our attention to how personal data can be farmed and misused using immersive technologies. He pointed out 6 ethical principles to protect user rights and prevent the mishandling of data. Galit Ariel, who is a techtivist and the author of Augmenting Alice looked at the larger systemic issues that exist within the business model of XR and the power dynamics of surveillance capitalism. Kavya Pearlman, founder of the XR Safety Initiative emphasized the need to move past the advocacy level and establish ethical regulations that mandate action against big corporations. As part of the XR Cyber Coalitions, Kavya recently rolled out standards for Accessibility, Inclusion, Ethics, and Safety providing concrete advice on how to make XR safer and more inclusive. Em Lazer Walker, Cloud Advocate at Microsoft represented the big corporation angle and shared the efforts undertaken by Microsoft to expand access and mitigate risks that XR poses.
 
As XR technologies continue to rapidly evolve and change, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of defining, addressing, and solving some of the ethical challenges that it presents. It is clear that these ethical challenges cannot be solved by a one shoe fits all- type solution. As Kent Bye, the producer of Voices of VR podcast pointed out there exists a gap between the idealism of ethical frameworks and the pragmatism of implementing them. It will take participation from various stakeholders and people with different perspectives to navigate the tradeoffs and initiate discussion around them, as a way of evaluating them. It will take serious engagement and collaboration, especially from big corporations to translate the abstraction of ethical concerns into measurable, actionable solutions that can be embodied by the XR industry.
 
In case you missed this Talk and Play, you may view the recording of the webinar here. Here is a list of resources mentioned during the talk along with some additional resources to help you catch up with the issue of ethics in XR. Lastly, for more such conversations please register for the Games for Change Festival between 14th-16th July, where we will try to unpack more such ethical concerns at our panels/talks:
 
Addressing Ethics in the Gaming Industry at 5.00pm EDT on Tuesday, 14th July
Access the Future of XR at 3.15pm EDT on Wednesday, 15th July
Sensing the Risks of XR at 2.10pm EDT on Wednesday, 14th July
Exploring Digital Rights: Data Sovereignty in XR at 6.50pm EDT on Wednesday, 14th July

2020 G4C Student Challenge Wrap Up!


Games for Change is thrilled to share the results of the 5th annual G4C Student Challenge competition – and to recognize the talented young game designers who emerged as winners of the 2020 game design competition.
 
Despite new challenges posed by school closures and COVID-19, the 2020 competition was the most successful to date. In addition to engaging students in NYC, LA, Atlanta and Detroit (where the full-year Challenge program runs), this year’s competition expanded nationally, inviting middle and high school students throughout the country to participate. Through the competition students were challenged to design and code digital games that addressed four important impact themes for teens today:
 
A Clean & Happy Earth (supported by Truth)
 
Inclusive Play: Designing Games for All (supported by AT&T)
 
Get the Party Started (supported by iCivics)
 
Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond (supported by Wallis Annenberg PetSpace)
 

In the end, 1,600 middle and high school students submitted nearly 1,000 original games to the 2020 Student Challenge game design competition. Following a rigorous 3-round jury process involving 160 professionals from the games, social impact and education sectors, G4C identified 124 finalist games, which are showcased at the first-ever online G4C Student Arcade.
 
On June 17th, G4C revealed 33 winning games and 5 grand prize winners during a Virtual Awards Ceremony on YouTube Live. Students won prizes including Best Buy Gift Certificates, video games from Ubisoft, EA, Visual Concepts and Adult Swim, theme-related experiences and more. Each Grand Prize Winning student also received a $1,000 Scholarship, generously provided by Take-Two Interactive.
 
G4C also honored four cohort educators (1 from each Challenge city) with a Leadership Award. The Leadership Award represents a commitment on the behalf of the teacher to the program as well as a dedication to helping their students gain critical 21st Century skills while addressing real world, relevant topics. Recipients included:
 
Luna Ramirez (Information Technology High School in NYC)
 
John Landa (Girls Academic Leadership Academy in LA)
 
Vicki Robertson (Brookhaven Innovation Academy in Atlanta)
 
Misty May (Brenda Scott Academy in Detroit)
 
Thank You to the coalition of partners who supported this year’s program, including: General Motors, Annenberg Learner, Annenberg Foundation, Endless, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Two Bit Circus Foundation, Detroit Public School Community District, the National Endowment for the Arts, Bigglesworth Family Foundation, and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
 
We look forward to working with our teacher cohorts and city partners during the 2020-2021 program – and to launching new resources and curriculum to support the national competition!
 

G4C would like to recognize all competitors for their impressive games and innovative solutions to this year’s themes. Congratulations to our Grand Prize Winners!
 

 

Check out all of the 2020 Student Challenge finalist games at the #G4CStudent Challenge Arcade!

Announcing the G4C Awards Nominees and Industry Leadership Award! ✨

 

Each year the Games for Change Awards highlights the best games and immersive media in the social impact sector. This year, we received the most submissions ever– over 200 games across 6 competitive categories! With the help of more than 70 expert jurors we are excited to announce our 22 finalists, all of which are eligible for Game of the Year. 14 of our finalist games are also eligible for the G4C People’s Choice Award, presented by Facebook Gaming!

 

G4C Industry Leadership Award

This year we are thrilled to present Microsoft with our Industry Leadership Award. We celebrate Microsoft’s breadth of work to harness the transformative power of games and immersive media across education, mental health, and accessibility to pave the way to a more inclusive video game world and affect real social change.

 

Microsoft Education continues to be a backbone for schools, especially during these unprecedented times of remote learning. Their partnership with UNICEF offers an expansion of the global learning platform, Passport Learning, to help children and youth affected by COVID-19 continue their education at home. Over the past decade, Minecraft: Education Edition has opened a pathway for the use of games in the classroom and we are now seeing how HoloLens is redefining immersive education.

 

Microsoft has also paved the way to a more inclusive world with the Xbox Adaptive Controller and its continued work with Accessibility for All. For the independent developer community, For the independent developer community, Microsoft offers meaningful support through the [email protected] programs. Finally, through Ninja Theory’s Hellblade and Project Insight making strides supporting mental health.

 

Find out more information about our finalists at our Festival Awards Page and tune in on July 14th to find out the winners of the 2020 Games for Change Awards, to celebrate Microsoft, and much more!

 






Introducing the ‘Learn to Code’ Games Fellowship! 🎮


 

To be prepared for the world they are entering, youth need to know how to use the technology that influences their lives. Not only do they need to be digitally literate, but they also need to have digital agency – the ability to shape technology, rather than be shaped by it. Coding is undeniably the language of the future (and one of the most highly sought-after skills in today’s increasingly technology-driven workforce), yet many schools do not offer coding courses as part of the curriculum!

 

Given the affinity of youth to playing games, they offer a unique opportunity for kids to learn coding skills. To encourage the development of coding games, G4C and Endless Network teamed up to launch the ‘Learn to Code’ Games Fellowship. Through a competitive submission process, three pairs of student teams were selected to participate in the program, during which they worked with industry mentors to develop their concepts into playable prototypes. Their goal was to create fun/immersive games that incorporate ‘learn to code’ mechanics and expose players to introductory coding concepts.

 

Following three months of team collaboration, iterative design and structured mentorship, we are excited to share the Fellow’s final projects with the world! We encourage you to play the games, share them with your network and consider how you can play a role in increasing the digital agency of young people today.

 

Check out the games below!



Sprout:


Fellows: Yanjiao Liu & Haotian Lu | University of California, Santa Cruz
 
A 2-D puzzle platformer that introduces players to coding basics by allocating energy to guide an elf and sprout a flower.
 
Coding Concepts: Players have to set the order of equipment (which represent “coding blocks” with different operators) and set the numbers inside the equipment to solve the equations. // Functions, Operators, Variable (Int);
 
Play Now!
 

Machineheart:


Fellows: Muhammad Bin Tahir Mir & Weizheng Lee | Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University
 
Machineheart​ is a single-player 2D side-scrolling strategy game. The player programs behaviours of several robots individually through their integrated development environments (IDEs). Robots must be capable of warding off enemy threats from the Wilderness. Players have the opportunity to alter programming of the robots to come up with unique answers to enemy threats.
 
Coding Concepts: Players use an in-game IDE to code Functions that presents loop and if statements using Int values. // IDE, Functions, Loop, If, Comparators; Variable (Int);
 
Play Now!
 

Stream:


Fellows: Fan Ling & Yichun He | Northeastern University
 
Stream is a 2D puzzle game that teaches players to have a programming mindset by incorporating water flow to simulate data streaming and “filters” to symbolize operations and functions that affect the water.
 
Coding Concepts: Players use a machine (which represents a function) that separates water flows of different colors according to programming concepts (If / Else, For and Array). // Functions, If / Else, For, Array, Variable (Int);
 
Play Now!

Get the Party Started: A #G4CStudent Challenge Game Jam!

The Games for Change Student Challenge was back with a game jam on February 21st, hosted at the New-York Historical Society! This Jam put one theme at the very center of the event: political change. Entitled “Get the Party Started”, Games for Change and theme partner iCivics asked students to form a new political party, and design a game which reflected how they would make a splash in the 2020 race for the White House. As Americans are increasingly unhappy with both the Democratic and Republican parties, there is support for the establishment of a new, third party. This is especially true with voters who are younger. Students were challenged to craft socially aware games that tap into this idea.
 
There was guidance from professional game designers to teach students the basics of video game development. Students were also treated to a special tour of the museum that provided them with context and inspiration to fuel their ideas, including an exhibit on Lyndon B. Johnson’s Voting Rights Act of 1965. Students on the tour asked insightful questions, and those insights would of course go into their game development.
 
Students’ games showed their interest both for change, and game development. There were some stand outs; with a few young developers even presenting their creations. One bright mind in particular offered sharp commentary on the powers currently in place. As a satire (labeled as such by one of the iCivics attendees), the game illustrated the difficulties of change in old, established powers through certain game mechanics. In this game, the third party is trying to gain momentum and favor, but is inevitably behind the dominant Democratic and Republican parties. The game was a deliberate catch-22: To earn more money, the third party would need more votes.But getting those votes requires money!
 
Another student game, a button-mashing multiplayer, had players assume the identities of the Democratic, Republican, a brand new third party, and battle it out to see who could reach the most votes first. The winner got to become President.This game was a great way to showcase just how hot-blooded politics can be.
 
Overall, the jam was a big hit, with students creating dozens of socially conscious games that can be entered into this Spring’s competition! Everything they accomplished on just one Saturday makes one think about what could happen should passionate and creative students be continuously encouraged to make change.
 
A big thank you to iCivics, the New-York Historical Society, our amazing partners, and all of the talented students who attended!

We’re a Part of the Village

Games for Change is excited to introduce a new blog series written by diverse members of our community. In this series we will be discussing the different ways they are using and thinking about games to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis. Authors will be sharing resources they are using in their home, virtual classrooms, offices, and more
 
This blog post was written by Tyra Pendergrass, Associate Director for the play2PREVENT Lab
 
“Everyone come in, grab your assigned iPads, a snack, and a drink.” “Did everyone have a good day at school today?”
 
That was my traditional, daily greeting to students who signed up to participate in our Randomized Controlled Trial to help our lab (the play2PREVENT Lab) test out our newest game.
 
At the play2 PREVENT Lab at Yale University, we build and evaluate videogames to promote healthy behaviors in youth and young adults. Our games focus on critical public health and social issues, including prevention in: STIs, HIV, drug and alcohol use, youth violence, bullying, unsafe driving, and obesity. Our objective is to serve as a resource for teens, parents, schools, communities, and other stakeholders with the common goal of improving and sustaining the health and well-being of young people.
 
The play2PREVENT Lab is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of researchers, game developers, and community partners.
 
On the surface as researchers, that is what we do… research. A clear cut goal with a set of protocols and procedures to get us to the end product. Objective, meticulous, repetitive. Oh, but the play2PREVENT Lab is so much more.
 
To test the efficacy of our games in changing behavior, knowledge, attitudes, intentions we conduct Randomized Controlled Trials. In our Randomized Controlled Trials, we enroll between 300-600 students-across our many partner school sites, after-school programs, and summer programs-to help us rigorously and scientifically test our games. On average we see the students once or twice a week over the course of six weeks. And on some projects, the students complete follow-up assessments at multiple timepoints up to two years after they’ve played our game. This gives our team a lot of opportunity to get to know the students that are participating in our projects. Outside of the research, students often let you know what is going on in their world; like extracurricular activities that they’re involved in and super proud of, or the celebration of grade achievements or birthdays. Or even the not so good stuff, like life stressors, relationship things, and the fact that the school dance was cancelled due to COVID. You hear their voices; which is an integral part of the work that the play2PREVENT Lab does, “games made for teens, by teens.”
 
In the wake of COVID-19 my days look drastically different. Instead of using my mornings to catch up on administrative, logistical and data and then going to one of our partner school or after-school sites, the schedule has shifted to being behind a computer for 8 hours with Zoom meetings galore. Our team has adjusted well, with still being able to have the students complete their assessment questions via links we send to their phones or via email.
 
However, one of the greatest aspects about my job is the opportunity to interact with students, teachers, staff. We all work together with the common goal of creating engaging and impactful resources for students that can ultimately impact their health and help them grow as adolescents. Those interactions are the most fulfilling part.
 
Without those daily interactions, you truly don’t realize how much a part of your day to day and your world those students, teachers, and staff are. We were only a small part of the day for students, but in a lot of ways we are part of the village that will help guide and raise these students.
 
I recently checked in with some of our school partners to see how the transition to online learning was going. Each school site varied with the challenges that they were experiencing adapting to the new normal. But the common thread was that the absence of that in person interaction was something that was valued and deeply missed.
 
Our society has found innovative ways to keep in touch and pivot during these unique times, but this time has allowed me to slow down and truly treasure the physical interactions. Even though I’m an introvert by nature and often need to recharge and find solace in my own space, I do value the in person interactions.
 
Seeing as June is around the corner, I’m looking forward to warmer weather and the ability to just “be” along-side others and enjoy them just being there. And of course looking forward to just being with our students again.

XR for Change Talk and Play: XR for Mental Health


 
Thank you to everyone who joined our Talk and Play on XR for Mental Health. For the first time, our Talk and Play session was hosted virtually and made open to an international audience. The move to a virtual format proved to be hugely successful as this Talk and Play saw the highest number of concurrent viewers in the series history. We were able to welcome attendees from 15 different countries to join our discussion, including Finland, Australia, Korea, Switzerland, and China, to name a few. Attendees engaged in a lively conversation over chat- making them an active part of the session.
 
Games for Change would also like to thank our incredible speakers for the event Sarah Hill, Adam Gazzaley, Kelli Dunlap, Skip Rizzo and our moderator Jesse Damiani for a highly engaging and informative conversation on immersive media and mental health.
 
The panel discussed the pivotal role XR could play in both addressing and destigmatizing mental health problems. Panelists highlighted the unique affordance XR offers over conventional approaches for treating disorders such as ADHD, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and specific phobias. The discussion extended to the application of XR in logotherapy or the pursuit of finding meaning. The panelists even deliberated on the ethics, values, and best practices for designers, developers, researchers, and teams working to create immersive treatments for such disorders. Finally, valuable points were brought up on how to let good ideas and research from academia to successfully cross over to the corporate/consumer markets.
 
You can check out a recording of the webinar here!
 
We look forward to seeing you at more of our Talk and Plays. Save the date for our upcoming events:
 
Volumetric 3D capture in XR
Thursday, May 28, 2020.
This discussion focuses on how digital recreation techniques in XR can transform how we experience content, from historical speeches to art exhibitions.
 
Ethics in XR
Thursday, June 25, 2020
This discussion aims to raise awareness about the ethical and privacy risks associated with the use of XR technologies and provide recommendations to mitigate them.
 
To find out how to register for the upcoming Talk and Play event and to be informed about the latest XR4C industry news, be sure to sign-up for our newsletter.