The 5th Annual G4C Student Challenge Kicks-Off in More Schools Than Ever Before!

Games for Change (G4C) is excited to announce the kick-off of the 5th Annual G4C Student Challenge in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Detroit – and this year we are reaching more schools, teachers and students than ever before!
 
The Games for Change Student Challenge is a national game design program that invites students to create digital games about issues relevant to their lives and communities. The Challenge exposes students to career opportunities in STEM and game design, engages and empowers them around civic issues impacting their communities, and develops 21st- century skills like critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. In addition, teachers are trained to use game-based learning tools and approaches as ways to deepen student learning and engagement.
 
During the 2019-2020 school year, 192 teachers from 162 schools (80% Title I schools) will participate in the Challenge, incorporating an impact game design curriculum into their classes and after-school clubs. The program will also feature mentorship by professional game designers, field trips to industry leaders (including Riot Games and Two Bit Circus), a series of local game jams for students to hone their game-making skills, and multimedia theme content, curated by cause-based partners. As in past years, the program will culminate in a game design competition; students submit original impact games for the opportunity to win awesome prizes including technology, learning experiences, and a $1,000 Grand Prize Scholarship, generously provided by Take-Two Interactive.

Kick-Off

This Fall, the program kicked-off with two days of professional development (PD) for new educators in each of the four participating cities. During the two days of PD, educators were trained to teach game design (using digital platforms like Scratch, Unity and Twine), created analog and digital games, explored arcades of exemplary impact games (both professional and student-made) and learned about this year’s social impact topics from program theme partners. Teacher trainings were facilitated by Games for Change and national curriculum partner, Mouse, and in partnership with local anchor partners including Two Bit Circus Foundation in Los Angeles and Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta.

 

LA Teachers work in teams to create analog games during the LA Professional Development on October 21-22 at Two Bit Circus Micro-Amusement Park.

Social Impact Themes

Each year, G4C works with theme partners to develop prompts for student games and provide multimedia content for students to use to inform their games. Theme partners also attend local game jams in each participating city to share their expertise and engage students directly. This year, we are thrilled to be working with four distinguished organizations around four pressing issues for teens today:

 

 

A Clean & Happy Earth (supported by the Truth Initiative):
Games that teach players how cigarettes and vaping are contributing to earth’s mounting toxic litter problem.

 

Get the Party Started (supported by iCivics)
Games that examine party politics and imagine the impact of a third party on the 2020 presidential election.

 

Inclusive Play: Designing Games for All (supported by AT&T):
Games that are designed for accessibility and a broad range of user needs, fostering inclusivity in the gaming community.

 

The Human-Animal Bond (supported by Annenberg PetSpace)
Games that explore the importance of the human-animal bond and how both humans and animals benefit from the relationship.

 
Supporters of the 2019-2020 G4C Student Challenge include Take-Two Interactive, Annenberg Learner, Annenberg Foundation, General Motors, Motorola, Endless, Truth Initiative, AT&T, Bigglesworth Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Program Announcement: XR for Change Fellowship


 
Games for Change (G4C) seeks one Fellow to participate in our XR for Change initiative and gain essential knowledge and experience to position them for careers in the immersive media, technology, and social impact sector. (XR stands for “extended realities” and spans the rapidly growing field of immersive technology including virtual, augmented, and mixed reality). 
 
The XR for Change program is a year-round initiative that brings together XR developers, media makers, storytellers, researchers, technology companies and users to create and share experiences that can improve people’s lives and further positive social change. Fellows will become part of the G4C team and be mentored and have unique work experience while engaging in market research, experience/speaker curation, community engagement strategy, and event production over the course of six months. Fellows will also be expected to generate a white paper study of the state of impact-focused XR to identify areas of opportunity and guide future investment in the field. Each Fellow will receive a monthly stipend and is expected to make a commitment of about 30 hours per week. 

Key Qualifications: 

  • Undergraduate degree or higher in a related field (computer science, videogame/XR development), or equivalent professional experience
  • Comfort working with and setting up XR hardware, including HMDs such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens, and Magic Leap One
  • Broad understanding of XR industry and it’s growing impact across various sectors, including non-profit, educational, medical, art, and civic institutions
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out and manage development research activities across various sectors
  • Excellent verbal and written skills in English across a range of communication formats (program reports, research briefs, white papers)
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • Proactive ability to work independently and ask for clarification when needed
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Compelled by intense curiosity to seek out little-known or undiscovered projects/companies/creators that contribute to the mission of XR4C

Contact: Please email cover letter and resume to [email protected] 
Deadline: November 4, 2019
 
Games for Change (G4C) is a national nonprofit that advances the creation and use of games for social impact and learning. G4C incubates game projects, engages the public through events; connects to educators and students through game design challenges, professional development, and workshops; and supports a diverse community of practice. G4C works with funders, educators and youth, content specialists, learning experts, and creative teams to create and distribute successful impact games.
 
Games for Change is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based on age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. 

🌴An Island of Games at Play NYC

On August 10th-11th, Games for Change, with the generous support of the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, was lucky enough to participate in Playcrafting’s third annual Play NYC. Playcrafting is an NYC based company that empowers the game development community through events and education throughout the US. We debuted our 🌴Games for Change Island 🌴 which included ten games total– seven from our 2019 Games for Change Awards and three winners from our 2019 NYC Student Challenge.

 

 

The 🌴Games for Change Island 🌴 was in the heart of the show floor, and featured a wide array of games ranging from AAA educational adventures to indie titles and also our collection of winners from our NYC Student Challenge Program. While most games showcased at the event were purely created for entertainment, we hoped to shed light on some recent examples of games that could be leveraged for positive social impact.

 

Children and families flocked to our Nintendo Labo exhibit, where they could build various interactive cardboard pieces like a piano, a fishing rod, and a motorcycle. Tender Claws’ Tendar, an AR experience using the camera of a smartphone, recognized and ate players’ different emotions. UNICEF’s Kid Power incentivized everyday activity by turning it into lifesaving food for over 16 million severely malnourished children around the world. A discovery tour of Ubisoft’s classic Assassin’s Creed allowed players to free freely roam in a full 3D recreation of Ancient Egypt without combat, story or time constraints. Prism, by Yidi Zhu, Dan Wolpow, Ridima Ramesh, Yutian Zheng, and Xueyang Wang, promoted autism acceptance among elementary school children. Nomada Studio’s Gris lets you play as hopeful young girl lost in her journey of sorrow in a faded reality. Throughout the weekend we were also excited to introduce many people to their first VR experience, Homestay, a beautiful piece about cultural immersion funded by the National Film Board of Canada.

 

 

Our three Student Challenge games dealt with themes from our 2018-2019 program and featured winners from our NYC Envision Gender Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Endangered Species and Automated Communities categories. In On Thin Ice! by Benicio L., Thomas C.,  and Anthony C. from The School of Interactive Arts, you play as an emperor penguin dealing with the effects of climate change. The Issue With Gender Equality in STEAM, by Lillian M. from M.S. M245, The Computer School, was a text based game which dealt with gender divide in her school’s STEAM lab. Finally, PacifAI, by  Larissa F. from The School of Interactive Arts, focused on a developing city in the midst of a technological revolution where an AI flies around a to improve people’s mental and physical well-being. We were very lucky to have Larissa, Benicio, Thomas, and Anthony at our space discussing their games with the public, and happy to have invited them to showcase at their first games convention.

 

Play NYC also featured multiple friends and former collaborators of G4C, especially in their Graffiti Games initiative. The 2019 “Graffiti Games: Play on Pride” program was presented by the support of the Bigglesworth Family Foundation. Ayla Myers, Independent Game Designer & Developer at Castle Games, showed her game Staring Can Be a Form of Harassment, featuring a booth full of human sized sculptures full of eyes created by visitors of the booth staring at you. One of our former Student Challenge winners and Student at NYU’s Game Center, Geneva Heyward, was showing off their game Rebel Runner, an exciting mash up between a ‘choose your own adventure game’ and an infinite runner. Rogue Fong, an independent developer specializing in XR Games & Immersive Installation Design, showcased  an immersive VR experience on vulnerability and coming out. 

 

 

Over the two days of  the convention we were able to meet and reconnect with so many people in the gaming industry, and people outside of the industry who were just very passionate about gaming.  Play NYC was able to showcase such a diverse and inclusive range of games and exhibitors. We’re looking forward to 2020 to share more of the wonderful games in the social impact gaming space, our Student Challenge initiative, and to see what amazing things the NYC gaming community does over the next year!

 

Thanks to Dan Butchko, the Playcrafting team and all the developers at Play NYC in addition to Sinjin Bain, and the Bigglesworth Foundation for supporting our installation, and providing passes to our Student Challenge participants!

We’re Hiring: Communications Intern

About this Job

Games for Change is looking for a communications intern to support a range of projects promoting games for social impact this fall. Candidates for this unpaid internship should meet the below qualifications and requirements. This position will report to the G4C Communications Manager and support various projects relating to social media and community outreach.

Position Details:

      • Support G4C Staff (Communications Manager) in outreach and communication activities across range of game development projects
      • Conduct research on games, game related programs, tech opportunities and interventions, and game developers
      • Communicate / Outreach to partners seeking support with impact game projects and lease with game developers, funders, researchers, and evaluators
      • Compile contact lists and research contact info
      • Compose copy for overview documents and concept decks

Key Qualifications:

      • Very reliable, self-motivated and proactive
      • Passion for and interest in social impact games and video game development (production, design, & development)
      • Highly organized and detailed-oriented
      • Adobe Creative Suite experience a plus
      • Strong communication skills and ability to work with remote teams
      • Desire to share the Games for Change mission

Requirements:

      • Weekly commitment of roughly 10-15 hours/week; minimum of 12 weeks.
      • Start date September 2019
      • Must be located in New York Metro area
      • 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 “Communications Intern” to Marissa Harts, Programs & Operations 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 social impact games (design, play, etc.)
        • 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.

Games For Change Accelerator is Hiring: General Manager

General Manager

A first of its kind accelerator in the video games, immersive technology and esports industry with a social impact orientation is searching for a rock star General Manager.

 

The Games for Change Accelerator is formed as a partnership between Quake Capital Partners, Games for Change and i(x) investments. The mission of the program is to fund and support social impact games, esports and XR development through funding, mentoring, go-to market planning, on-going business development and distribution. We are joining forces to harness the potential of social impact in the burgeoning interactive technology industries to drive real-world outcomes. The new program is seeking a highly motivated and experienced General Manager to work in our New York City office as part of the leadership team. This person will report to the Accelerator’s President and work closely with the General Partners, as well as senior stakeholders from Quake, Games for Change and i(x) investments. (Full story: Bitcoin Code bei Höhle der Löwen)

 

Primary Duties:

● Manage day to day activities of the Accelerator
● Responsible for (2) direct hires, a Principal and Senior Associate role
● Provide expertise in design and development of games and/or XR experiences across all aspects of the Accelerator
● Develop a robust education program that will support each team’s individual needs, whether in an alpha or beta stage. Includes recruiting mentors, scheduling classes, sessions on relevant gaming or business topics
● Evaluate potential cohort teams with the management team of the general partnership with the lens of an
experienced games/XR developer
● Provide 1:1 office hours to teams
● Analyze cohort’s performance and make recommendations for follow-on investments in existing portfolio
companies
● Manage the communication process for due diligence methodology, including writing investment memos.
● Plan and produce Demo Day as the culminating event of each cohort
● Lead support efforts at portfolio companies and advise on various management, strategy and funding issues
● Facilitate communications with the G4CA Advisory Board to act as strategic resources to portfolio
companies, as appropriate

 

Experience:

● Leadership experience running a games/XR studio of 5-10 people or related business for 5-7 years.
● Versed knowledge of the gaming and XR sectors, including products, trends,
distribution strategies and sophisticated and thoughtful understanding of the ecosystem
● Proven record of successfully bringing products to market
● Well-developed network and established relationships with developers and researchers with whom the candidate can source and develop deal flow
● Exceptional ability to analyze data effectively, interpret results, and extract data-driven insights
● Excellent interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence, including strong judgement of character
● Demonstrated passion for helping entrepreneurial teams succeed
● Evidence of the candidate’s ability to add value to a startup across company’s evolution, not simply at the time of investment
● Comfort working independently in a fast-paced startup environment
● Ability to travel both domestically and internationally to represent the Games for Change Accelerator at conferences and events
● Strategic thinker, creative and efficient problem solver with high energy, positive attitude and strong work ethic
● Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred

 

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement
The Games for Change Accelerator is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based on age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

 

To Apply: Please send an email with the subject line “G4C Accelerator General Manager” to [email protected] Please send your resume as an attachment (PDF or Word format) and include your cover letter in the body of the email.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

https://www.g4caccelerator.com/

 

QUAKE CAPITAL PARTNERS

Quake is a unique accelerator focused on making seed level investments in new and early stage ventures across a wide range of industries. Working closely with key
advisers, and tapping into exclusive relationships developed over the last 30 years, our
team boasts unparalleled access to the top players in finance, development,
manufacturing, and distribution.

GAMES FOR CHANGE

Since 2004, Games for Change (G4C) has been empowering game creators and
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 partner with
technology and gaming companies like Microsoft, Valve, Dell and Ubisoft, as well as
nonprofits, foundations and government agencies to run world class events, public
arcades, design challenges and youth programs. G4C supports a global community of
game developers working to use games to tackle real-world challenges, from
humanitarian conflicts to climate change and education.

i(x) INVESTMENTS

i(x) is a permanently capitalized holding company that provides individual and
institutional investors an historic opportunity to create economic growth and catalytic
social impact. i(x) invests in the pillars of human needs (energy, water, food,
technology, communications, education, health, housing, access to capital, and gender
parity) in a multi-strategy investment approach throughout the entire capital structure.
Our focus is on companies with proven science and technology with the potential for
hyper-growth as well as on assets. We bring value to our investments with
not only capital but also our expertise in creating and measuring social impact.

From the XR4C Fellow: First G4C Festival

By nature of the medium, extended reality (XR) content is all about perspective. People’s perspectives change when they experience circumstances firsthand, and through XR systems we can embrace a different method of storytelling to gain new insights, expand on acquired knowledge, and better understand others. XR as a medium continues to rapidly advance, and content creators are trailblazing the industry’s development. 

 

At the same time, we must also carefully consider the industry’s direction, and different communities must come together to inspire and motivate that conversation. Games for Change operates at the nexus of both technology and social impact – it encourages meaningful creation and inspires developers to actively reflect on how their work can shape the world for the better. This year, I attended my first Games for Change Festival and reflected on the most important component in effective immersive media.

 


But First, A Bit About Me

 

Immersive media has driven my career, even before joining the Games for Change team. My internship with the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017 involved collaborating directly with the program managers as a production assistant and working on-site during the duration of the festival. I return to the festival team every year, and I have worked with so many moving experiences, such as The Day the World Changed by Gabo Arora and Saschka Unseld, SPHERES by Eliza McNitt, and The Key by Celine Tricart in partnership with Oculus VR for Good. Meanwhile, my passion for games guided my academic career, and I graduated with honors from the BFA Game Design program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2018.

 

In 2017, XR for Change was launched to develop a community of individuals who want to use immersive media to drive social impact. As the XR for Change Fellow, I have been developing and maintaining many of the XR initiatives throughout Games for Change. Through my mentorship with Games for Change, I’ve been able to refine my experience with curation, event production, community building, and research analysis. Every day with the Games for Change team is a day of advancement and growth, which continues to drive my ongoing career. However, I am currently most proud of coordinating with the festival production team to make the Immersive Arcade at the 2019 XR for Change Summit a reality.

 


XR4C Immersive Arcade

 

The XR for Change Summit’s Immersive Arcade had projects and experiences from this year’s most influential immersive content creators. I was already acquainted with many of the experiences shown at the arcade, and it was exciting to view such well-known projects through the frame of social impact. It was also so great to see familiar colleagues and friends.

 

I experienced Queerskins: a love story for the second time at the XR for Change Summit this year, the first time at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018. Ed and Mary-Helen, husband and wife, drive along a quiet road, and I am in the back seat, physically caught between a heavy, uncomfortable silence. To my left is a box of belongings, archives of a young man lost to AIDS, their son Sebastian. The car radio begins to play, and I am entangled in the tension.

 

As I pick up each object, Mary-Helen reflects on moments with her son and is met with emotionally charged resistance by Ed. Being devout Catholics who cut Sebastian out of their lives, they are both conflicted and torn about his death. “He was a disgrace” Ed says as I stare out through the window of the car. And without spoiling the experience for those who have not seen it, the experience brings me to tears when they finally reach their destination.

 

Unlike traditional media, immersive media actively encourages its audience to experience the world, rather than simply viewing it from the frame. In short, the empathetic nature of XR is what makes it different from all other forms of media. Immersive storytelling is meaningful in this way we share these stories via a personal perspective that only immersive media’s emerging technologies can capture.

 


The Games for Change Community

 

What makes Games for Change so special to me is its empathetic community. When I attended the Games for Change Festival, I watched so many people find common ground in the desire to ignite social change through the media we produce. Games for Change fosters these relationships, allowing people to meet like-minded colleagues and form new connections in their network. 

 

Part of my journey at Games for Change is exploring how future XR development can advance avenues of social impact. Being exposed to such impactful immersive stories at Tribeca inspired me to take action and apply for the XR for Change Fellowship

 

Now I am an emerging young voice who seeks to inspire action in this rising medium, and my time with Games for Change is making all the difference.

 

Noelle Mazurek

We’re Hiring: Production Intern

 

About this Job

 

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 live events in NYC 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 early-stage 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 2019.
  • Position based in G4C’s WeWork offices in Midtown East, New York City.
  • 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 “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)
  • Location/Where you are commuting from
  • 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 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.

 

We’re Hiring: Programs and Operations Intern

 

About this Job

 

Games for Change is looking for Programs and Operations Intern to support a range of projects promoting games for social impact this Fall for G4C and the National Student Challenge.

 

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

 

 

Position Details:

  • Support G4C staff in daily activities and collaborate on special projects, as assigned
  • Conduct research on games, game-related programs, tech opportunities and interventions, and game developers
  • Help us keep our office organized, and file and scan documents
  • Assist with billing and bookkeeping
  • Assist with In Kind donation outreach and organization for the National Student Challenge, Games for Change Festival and other programs
  • Assist with recruitment/outreach of volunteers for the G4C Festival Support and assist with G4C year-round volunteer program
  • Assist with managing local partnerships, communications/social media, events to promote the NYC Student Challenge program
  • Research new outreach platforms for students and teachers

 

Key Qualifications:

  • Very reliable, self-motivated and proactive
  • Passion for and interest in social impact games and video game development
  • Highly organized and detailed-oriented
  • Strong communication skills and ability to work with remote teams
  • Desire to share Games for Change’s mission

 

Requirements:

  • Weekly commitment of approximately 15-20 hours/week; minimum of 12 weeks.
  • Start date September 2019.
  • Position based in G4C’s WeWork offices in Midtown East, New York City.
  • 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 “Program & Operations Intern” to Marissa Harts, Operations Manager ([email protected]). Please send your resume as an attachment and include the following in a cover letter:

  • Availability (hours per week) and location
  • School, program, and expected graduation year
  • Overview of interest and experience with social impact games (design, play, etc.)
  • 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.

 

At a Glance: G4C19 Festival & XR4C Summit

 

Thank you to all who attended our 16th annual Games for Change Festival this past month!

 

It was an incredible week and we are so thankful to everyone who joined us including the amazing speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and of course all the attendees!  So many industry icons, developers, creators, professionals, and change agents came together to discuss the power of games and XR to drive social change. With themes surrounding education, health and wellness, civics and social issues, and more – the Games for Change Festival celebrated the impact that games and XR can make in our world.

 

Wait I missed it… so what happened?

 

At the XR for Change Summit and the Games for Change Festival we had nearly 200 diverse and inspiring speakers come together for panels and sessions and over 1100 attendees on site.  Facebook Gaming livestreamed the Festival to thousands more. All of our talks and sessions will be featured on the G4C YouTube Channel so remember to check them out here!

 

But for now, here are some of the highlights…

 

 

XR for Change Summit

The third annual XR for Change Summit kicked off the Games for Change Festival this year. Our innovative XR speakers shared the many ways immersive media can drive social change. Opening Keynote, Jessica Brillhart talked about how game design perspectives influence XR creatives and filmmakers, Nancy Baker Cahill discussed the subversive potential of XR in art and culture, and Illya Szilak offered an empathetic perspective on how we can use XR to invoke acceptance and understanding. All of our panels and sessions offered valuable insights on XR technology and its possible impact in healthcare, education and global issues.

 

At the Summit, we also announced plans with AARP Innovation Labs (known as The Hatchery) to create a VR Design Challenge slated to launch in January 2020. The collaboration will aim to inspire more people to think about how VR games can enhance the quality of life as we age and enable people across all ages to experience simple, beautiful and impactful VR. Developers will be invited to submit a digital game that can demonstrate health or wellness benefits for older users for a cash prize and a chance to be published on the AARP Alcove Platform. Interested in learning more – click here – and sign up for more information!

 

Our largest ever XR Immersive Arcade featured 21 unique XR experiences that were created for social impact across a variety of disciplines. These experiences were from incredible content creators, including Oculus VR for Good, Cloudred, Magic Leap Studios, Emblematic Group, Atlas V, Accenture Interactive, Vrai Pictures, the Anti-Defamation League, P’tites Madeleines Productions, Silvrscreen Productions, Artie, RYOT, The Technicolor Experience Center, and many more!

 

 

XR Brain Jam

In the days leading up to the XR for Change Summit, we held our 3rd XR Brain Jam where researchers teamed up with XR developers to create immersive experiences at the intersection of research and technology.

 

Led by Dave Culyba from Carnegie Mellon’s ETC and Sabrina Culyba, ten amazing teams worked from June 14th to June 16th to explore how we can advance research through immersive experiences. More info can be found on the XR Brain Jam Site.

 

We highlighted four of these immersive experiences and invited them to present at the XR for Change SummitASMvR addresses adolescent anxiety by providing sensory experiences to reduce anxiety symptoms. Good Vibrations allows Parkinson’s patients to obtain the feeling of functionality that they felt before their diagnosis. Mosquitos vs. Humans is a multiplayer virtual reality experience to address the global mosquito bite mortality rate. Lastly, Brain Relay uses virtual reality to teach about neural networks and help users better understand how signals are sent to different parts of the brain.

 

 

G4C Festival

Over two packed days, our amazing curators programmed sessions that inspired, informed and challenged how we use games to drive impact.  Some of the programming highlights include: James Vaughan shared his experience in the development of his commercially successful educational and social impact games, Plague Inc. and Rebel Inc. Stan Pierre Louis and Yannis Mallat discussed the dynamic impact that the video game industry has on business, entertainment, and culture. Eric Zimmerman gave a meaningful keynote about how purposeful game design has the power to be the solution to society’s growing problems. And Leslie Pirritano reflected on deeply personal experiences that ultimately inspired her commitment to diversity.

 

The G4C Marketplace also showcased twelve innovative companies and universities who are dedicated to games and social change, including Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), ELUDICA, StreetWize Simulations, MeetMax Games, Project on Nuclear Gaming, Ndemic, the Federal Games Guild, the University of California Santa Cruz, Emmerson College, Brightline, and Aviv Learning Inc.

 

A big part of what makes the Games for Change Festival special is how it fosters connections. We saw so many new connections and partnerships being formed at our Speed Networking and Meet the Funder sessions. We were also proud to have held the IDGA Mentor Café, which provided an incredible degree of mentorship and knowledge to so many members of our Games for Change community!

 

 

Games for Change Awards

The Games for Change Awards celebrates the best social impact games and XR experiences released each year. We had some amazing categories this year, including our recently added Best Student Game and Best XR for Change Experience Awards. Facebook also hosted the G4C People’s Choice Award, and we had the most voters ever to participate!

 

At the Awards Ceremony, we honored two recipients: Lindsay Grace was given the G4C Vanguard Award for his commitment to play-based learning and social impact. Meanwhile, Ubisoft was given the first ever G4C Industry Leadership Award for its dedication to accessibility and learning, as well as its positive influences in the video games industry.

 

Here are the winners of this year’s Games for Change Awards!

 

Best Gameplay Award – Gris (Nomada Studio)
Most Innovative Award – Tendar (Tender Claws)
Most Significant Impact Award – UNICEF Kid Power (UNICEF USA)
Best Learning Game Award – Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt (Ubisoft)
Best Student Game Award– Prism (Yidi Zhu, Dan Wolpow, Ridima Ramesh, Yutian Zheng, Xueyang Wang)
Best XR for Change Award – Homestay (National Film Board of Canada)
People’s Choice Award – Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt(Ubisoft)
Game of the Year – Nintendo Labo (Nintendo)

 

 

Photos and Videos

Feel free to check out photos of the festival on our Flickr account and share them with your networks and friends. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified when our Festival videos are uploaded!
 

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Speaker Videos!

See our Photos on Flickr Here!

 

 

Staying Involved

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the Games for Change Festival next year!

While the fun of the festival may be over, stay tuned! We have more exciting events planned. Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about what Games for Change is up to.

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Announcing the 2019 G4C Awards Nominees!

Games for Change is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2019 Games for Change Awards! Each year we recognize the most impactful, innovative, and engaging social impact games of the year at our Games for Change Awards ceremony.

 

This year we are excited to present two new awards, Best Student Game and Best XR For Change Experience, alongside the classics: Best Gameplay, Most Innovative, Most Significant Impact, Best Learning Game, Vanguard Award, and the G4C People’s Choice Award.

 

 

All nominees are considered for the Awards’ top honor, Game of the Year, which is awarded to the nominee that best exemplifies all categories.

 

Learn more about each nominee at the Games for Change Awards website.

 

G4C would like to send a big shout-out to everyone who submitted their games and to our jury of leaders from the video game community, social impact sector, new media and immersive tech sphere, who invested their time to diligently evaluate all game submissions. Share your favorite impact game on social media using #G4C19!

 


 

G4C People’s Choice Award Presented by Facebook

 

We are proud to partner for the first time with Facebook to present the G4C People’s Choice Award, where gamers and the G4C community can vote for their favorite title amongst all of our Award nominees.

 

The Games for Change Awards ceremony will be live streamed on the G4C Facebook page, alongside the rest of our main-stage sessions. Be sure to tune in as we announce the winner on June 18th! Cast your vote for the G4C People’s Choice Award HERE.