Games for Change runs various professional programs to engage developers, and help organizations surface some of the best concepts from around the world. Game design challenges are run in partnership with leading NGO’s and companies looking to engage with G4C’s diverse and creative community of developers.
Games for Change is currently hosting five professional programs: Create with Fortnite Workshops, Game Plan, Raising Good Gamers, the STEM Your Game Challenge Powered by Endless, and the Serious Games Developer Program.
STEM Your Game Challenge
Games for Change and Endless invite all game creators to bring their talent and creativity to the edtech community through a new professional program: The STEM Your Game Challenge. The Challenge aims to help raise the bar on the quality of STEM games by adapting commercial games for learning purposes Through an open call for submissions, game developers may submit completed or beta-level, ‘entertainment-first’ games and a proposal for how the game could be reimagined to engage and inspire middle school learners around STEM topics. Ultimately, 1-3 finalist(s) will be selected to participate in a 5-month learning game development phase and will be provided with the following resources:
- Up to $150,000 in funding to redevelop/redesign their game for STEM learning purposes
- Access to a cross-sector team of experts in STEM learning, curriculum design, edtech marketing/publishing and more!
- Structured project support through monthly check-in calls with G4C
- Opportunities to publicize and market the final learning game (including showcasing the game at the 2021 Games for Change Festival)
At the conclusion of the development period, game creators will publish their new STEM learning games, including making a free/open version of the game available to students and teachers for educational purposes. Developers will also be invited to showcase and promote their products at the 2021 Games for Change Festival. Get ready to #STEMYourGame!
Please read the STEM Your Game Challenge Guidelines for further program details.
Submissions for the STEM Your Game Challenge are now closed.
Questions? Email us: [email protected]
Games for Change, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and General Motors is excited to launch Game Plan. Game plan is a new professional development program, designed for our current era of social distancing, to raise museum capacity for using games and game-like learning within youth programming. Along with a modest stipend, Game Plan will provide curriculum, online training, a supportive community, and the opportunity for museum youth to compete in a nation-wide game design challenge themed on the idea of resiliency. Game Plan will launch in January 2021.
G4C x Epic Games Workshops
Games for Change is excited to announce a partnership with Epic Games that will offer middle and high school educators a chance to bring Fortnite, Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, and other Epic Games content into their classrooms, now through the end of the year.
Games for Change will be offering four types of free workshops:
- Introduction to Interactive 3D for Creators: Hour-long webinars that will introduce educators to interactive 3D and real-time technology across various industries, including advertising, game development, architecture, engineering, automotive, film, and entertainment. The workshop will share teaching resources using Fortnite Creative, Twinmotion, and Unreal Engine. Educators will leave with an understanding of the suite of Epic Games’ 3D interactive resources and the potential they have to prepare students for real-world skills using industry-standard tools.
- “Teach With Fortnite Creative” Workshop: Half-day workshops where educators will learn to use Fortnite Creative to empower students to become creators. Teachers will engage in hands-on learning and a series of challenges to explore Fornite Creative’s fundamentals. This workshop is a great start to help educators bring Fortnite Creative into the classroom, in person or virtually.
- “Teach with Fortnite Creative Level 2” Workshop: This next-level workshop will dive deeper into the functionality of Fortnite Creative and examine innovative ways to create a curriculum that educators can incorporate into their content area. Participants will understand how devices in the game can enhance automation to develop more engaging experiences.
- “Teach with Unreal Engine” Workshop: In this workshop, educators will gain a better understanding of how Unreal Engine is being used across industries, including advertising, architecture, automotive, games, film and television, and beyond. They will learn Unreal Engine fundamentals through guided projects, explore lesson plans, and walk away with tools and resources to successfully implement real-time content creation into their learning environments.
Upcoming Workshop Dates:
Teach With Unreal Engine- May 18 & 25 (6:30 – 8:00 EST)
Serious Games Developer Program
G4C is joining forces with Global Game Jam and U.S. Embassy Kyiv to address social issues through a virtual program that will include a two-day workshop, game jam and ongoing mentorship opportunities for developers at all skill levels. This free program will support the Ukrainian video game industry and encourage investment in serious games. We will identify a cohort of game developers in Ukraine interested in serious games and build their capacity to create these games, increasing technical skills and entrepreneurship in addition to surfacing several viable serious game projects. One winning team will receive $5,000 USD to continue developing their game.
Raising Good Gamers
The Raising Good Gamers initiative was launched to make online video game communities more youth-friendly and inclusive. Games for Change and the Connected Learning Lab at UC Irvine are bringing together game developers, video gaming advocates, researchers, educators, parents, and youth to create a youth-centered agenda for pro-social gaming; due to the growing problem of toxicity online that implicates us all in developing a response.
We invite you to join us in examining some of the following questions:
- How might we develop and support gaming communities that cultivate empathetic, compassionate, and civically engaged kids?
- What might it look like to develop youth’s socio-emotional capacities to positively shape the climate of gaming clubs and communities
- What role can the design of games, gaming communities, and associated technologies play in mitigating abuse?
- How do we build the foundations of a healthy community directly into the platforms themselves?
Please contact [email protected] to learn about how you can join us in this important work!
HIV Prevention Game Design Workshop and Game Jam
HIV Prevention Game Design Workshop and Game Jam
The HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Underrepresented Investigators (HISTP) is a program that supports scientists from underrepresented groups conducting HIV-related dissemination and implementation research, based at the Columbia School of Social Work. The program provides training, mentorship, and other research and professional development activities, including innovative uses of technology to achieve research goals.
Columbia approached Games for Change (G4C) to lead a two-part program to empower HISTP scholars to create games about HIV prevention and intervention, and in particular, to reach the diverse global populations they work with. The first part was a 1.5-day workshop in April 2020 to introduce the scholars to the social impact game field, game design, and to brainstorm initial game concepts. This was followed by a 2-day game jam in September where the scholars were paired with professional game developers to build a working prototype of game concepts.
Columbia University provided a $15,000 grant to one of the game concepts to support its further development. “Change My Story” is an environmental novel about Obi, a 27-year-old with HIV struggling to disclose his status to his girlfriend. Players explore Obi’s home and make decisions that ultimately lead to whether or not he is able to disclose his status. Obi’s story is based on Aimalohi Agnes Ahonkhai’s real experience with her patients and research. The game will be used as an engaging teaching and reflection tool as part of a mental health treatment program for 15-to-29-year olds living with HIV in West Africa. For more details on this project, please download the PDF Case Study.
- 8 scholars participated in a virtual workshop on games for impact.
- 5 scholars were paired with game developers to develop their game prototype.
- One winning scholar received $15,000 from Columbia University to further develop their game about HIV awareness and disclosing an HIV diagnosis.
VR for Change Alcove Challenge
VR for Change Alcove Challenge
Games for Change is thrilled to share the finalists of the VR for Change Alcove Challenge, sponsored by AARP Innovation Labs. Based on Alcove, a VR platform created by AARP Innovation Labs, the Challenge inspired developers to create virtual reality experiences that focus on enhancing quality of life, creating new memories, and deepening intergenerational bonds for people of all ages. The top five Challenge finalists presented their projects during a panel at the 2020 G4C Festival and the Grand Prize Winner was revealed during a mainstage announcement. The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and all five projects will be published on the Alcove platform in the upcoming months.
About VR for Change Alcove Challenge
The VR for Change Alcove Challenge is a collaboration between AARP Innovation Labs and Games for Change. Using the Alcove platform, a VR application created by AARP Innovation Labs, and the Alcove™Playground powered by Rendever, the Challenge aims to inspire people to think about how games can enhance quality of life, create new memories, and deepen intergenerational bonds with loved ones across the world.
Grand Prize Winner:
Labyrinth Lunacy VR (created by Peter Pichya)
Labyrinth Lunacy is a fiendishly, challenging game of puzzle logic and spatial physical reflexes that brings the familiar ‘ball in a maze’ game into VR; players tilt the ground playfield and maneuver a marble ball, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles as they navigate through a labyrinth.
Ama’s Momento (created by Momento Team)
Ama’s Momento’ is a mixed reality installation dedicated to capturing the story of a grandmother who dreams of building an art museum to preserve Taiwanese culture; the experience captures Ama’s story by shaping it into a virtual museum and sparking a movement that makes her dream a reality.
Avatar VR (created by Avatar VR)
Avatar VR is a meditative experience that provides a way for individuals to gain a greater embodied awareness through hypnosis and cognitive simulation; inspired by zen practitioners, players bend elements in order to release blocks from their chakras.
Lake Baikal VR (created by: MediaCombo)
Transporting users to one of the most extraordinary places on Earth, Lake Baikal VR brings people together in a shared virtual reality space to encourage conversation and storytelling as they watch short vignettes of life on and near the Lake.
Visitations (created by: David Lobser)
Visitations is a compilation of VR experiences which have been designed as distraction therapy for patients undergoing infusions. The experiences are simple postcards and are meant to provide a calming and comforting space for users to relax and chill out.
In addition to the top five finalists, AARP Innovation Labs recognized four additional projects with Honorable Mentions and the opportunity to be published on the Alcove platform: CONQUEST IQ (Created by Hubert Gaillard); Dear Mom (Created by AmaVR Team); Digital Emotes (Created by Aaron Tate); Philosopher’s Walk (Created by Ricardo Miranda Zuniga).
LEARN TO CODE GAMES FELLOWSHIP
Title: LEARN TO CODE GAMES FELLOWSHIP
Games for Change, supported by Endless Network, is excited to announce a new Learn to Code Games Fellowship for college and university-level game designers. Through a competitive submission process, three pairs of student teams will be selected to participate in a two-month Fellowship, during which they will design ‘learn to code’ game mechanics and each develop a new, unique game. Participants will commit to weekly check-in calls with industry mentors and communicate with other Fellows via an online forum.
Final projects will be shared publicly as free, open-source games through the Games for Change website and Endless Studios’ product website. Each Fellow will be awarded a $4,000 stipend for their participation in the program.
*Please read the full Fellowship Guidelines – including game criteria and eligibility requirements.
Questions? Email email@example.com
Fellows will work to create games that can break down barriers to learning how to code — by making coding fun and accessible to all.
G4C MIGRATION CHALLENGE
Title: G4C MIGRATION CHALLENGE
Funded though the Lounsbery Foundation, G4C sought partnership with the Migration Policy Institute to launch a design challenge that invited people to submit game concepts that address migration and emphasize integration issues. G4C developed the challenge, raised funds for program execution and prizes, recruited partners, led all promotion, and managed the competition and judging.
- 189 submissions received from across the globe that reflected stories of personal struggle and opportunity
- $10,000 cash prize was awarded to the winner
- G4C Festival passes were awarded to 4 additional finalist teams
G4C NUCLEAR WEAPONS RISK CHALLENGE
Title: G4C NUCLEAR WEAPONS RISK CHALLENGE
N Square approached G4C with interest in engaging the developer community to address the risk of nuclear weapons. G4C produced a worldwide challenge that sought ideas for games that address this. The challenge was funded by N Square, a multi-funder initiative to end nuclear weapons.
- 242 submissions received reflecting a wide range of complex representations of the nuclear weapons landscape
- $10,000 prize was awarded to the winner, Yvette Chin
- Following the challenge, a full prototype of game was built executive produced by G4C and built by Filament Games
G4C CLIMATE CHALLENGE
Title: G4C CLIMATE CHALLENGE
G4C introduced the PoLAR Partnership to the Autodesk Foundation when both approached G4C about using games to engage audiences around climate change. The alignment in goals evolved into a multi-team partnership that produced the G4C Climate Challenge. Both teams supported as subject matter experts in their domains (climate science and technology) and the challenge invited experienced game designers to create working prototypes for games that help players understand their role in addressing climate change.
- 55 playable games submitted, 4 of which were selected for honorable mention at G4C Festival in front of live jury and 1 of which received the $10,000 grand prize.
- The winning game Eco received promotional support from Autodesk and will be prominently featured in upcoming Autodesk campaigns.
- Winning game Eco detailed here