Games for Change

Organization Description

Games for Change has several initiatives that drive real-world impact through games and immersive media. They convene industry experts through our annual Games for Change Festival, inspire youth to explore civic issues and STEAM skills through their Student Challenge, and showcase leading impact-focused games and immersive experiences through live Arcades for the public.

Impact of SCE Support

The NYC Games for Change Student Challenge is the pilot for a new annual digital game contest for public middle and high school students that invites them to create original games on social issues in their local neighborhoods, communities and boroughs. Through partnering with schools and afterschool programs, the Challenge will motivate learning by connecting youth to their interest in digital games, and encourage creativity, systems thinking, inquiry-based learning, and civic participation. The Challenge will celebrate the best games and their makers, selected by a blue-ribbon jury of experts, with prizes and an award ceremony at a leading NYC design museum.

SCE partnered with G4C and the Institute of Play on this project to deeply embed a 21st century learning emphasis through curriculum guides, toolkits, assessments and resources for educators, parents and students.

More recently, through the Youth Voice Challenge SCE funded Raising Good Gamers (RGG): a new collaborative project led by Games for Change and the Connected Learning Lab at University of California, Irvine. This research/practitioner partnership seeks to empower young people to shape the culture of their online communities, advance youth leadership and advocacy for more safe, diverse, and inclusive gaming experiences, and build positive game communities that counter online toxicity while challenging norms of adult control and surveillance of youth activity.

RGG activities include virtual and in-­person convenings, workshops, a platform of TED-­style talks by youth experts, a Youth Summit, and ongoing youth advocacy. RGG will also be a platform for sharing youth voice and promoting public awareness and engagement broadly to all stakeholders: policy makers, parents, educators, game companies, media advocacy organizations, and others.

Games for Change is a member of SCE’s Youth Voice Challenge cohort. This group of exemplary organizations seeks answers to the question: How can young people inspire their peers to use technology in healthy ways and make digital spaces better for everyone? Learn more about the Challenge here.

Why We Invested

The overwhelming majority of young people engage with games of some kind, exposing them to a gaming culture that is often toxic and devoid of accountability. Games for Change is unique in its focus on gaming; through a series of progressive partnerships, it has the potential to address the harmful aspects of gaming culture and influence others to do the same.

Games for Change empowers game creators and social innovators to drive real-world change using games and technology that help people to learn, improve their communities, and contribute to make the world a better place.
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