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{ Category Archives } games for change

What video games offer democratic participation

[cross-posted from Valuable Games] As President Obama recognized in his Open Government Directive, transparency is only the first step towards a more vibrant democracy. The bigger problem has always been fostering widespread participation. After all, one of the most vexing problems facing today’s government – regulatory capture of an agency by special interests – flourishes […]

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SimCity, climate change, and BP: game for change or unholy alliance?

BP Alternative Energy, a branch of the UK-based oil conglomerate, is reportedly collaborating with EA on the latest installment of the SimCity franchise. I have long felt that games are a natural vehicle not just for education (see Jim Gee and the Serious Games Initiative) or propaganda (see the Games for Change movement) but for […]

Echoing Green to sponsor a virtual city

Echoing Green is awarding one of its coveted Fellowships to teacher and charter school founder Felix Brandon Lloyd for what could become a financial Game For Change to teach children financial literacy: CentsCity applies the engaging technology of online role-playing and social networking sites like the Sims and SecondLife to develop high school students’ financial […]

Games for Change wrapup retrospective

This year’s G4C conference (sorry, “festival”) continues to demonstrate a diversity of approaches, but whereas last year emphasized moving away from one-minute propaganda pieces, this year seemed to lean back in that direction, as more sophisticated simulation-based games prove difficult and expensive. There was also a lot more emphasis on game development rather than the […]

Games for Change conversation with Zimmerman and Thompson

One commenter nicely harmonized these two presentations as both calling for games to be games, but in many other respects Zimmerman and Thompson were coming at this question from opposite directions. Zimmerman’s approach resonated with me: he identified “systems thinking” (which I recently found critical to modern legal practice) as a key affordance of games […]

Games for Change panel : the Teen Scene

Panelists include young people from: Global Kids, Computers for Youth, McKinley Technology HS, and Bronx River Art Center, moderated by Barry Joseph, Global Kids. This panel comprised the young people that many G4C developers want to reach: it was remarkable hearing from the youth themselves. The discussion focused heavily on using the game design process, […]

Games for Change panel : Market-sector Impact

Panelists Alex Chisholm ([ICE]3 Studios); Eric Brown (ImpactGames); Stephen Friedman (mtvU); moderated by Heather Chaplin (Smart Bomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution). An interesting panel that, among other topics, played with the question of how games could get funded under different for-profit, not-for-profit, and non-profit models. I would […]

Games for Change panel : Virtual Activism

Panelists: Susan Tenby (TechSoup); Evonne Heyning (Amoration); Jeska Dzwigalski (Linden Lab); moderated by Beth Kanter. This panel focused almost exclusively on Second Life but didn’t touch what I felt to be the most important issue facing not just Games for Change but the entire realm of online activism: translating “awareness” into action. The mention of […]

Games for Change keynote : Chris Melissinos (Sun)

In the next few posts I’ll be publishing audio recordings from the 4th annual Games for Change festival with some commentary from myself when I have any. Keynote speech by Chris Melissinos, Chieg Gaming Officer at Sun Microsystems (June 11, 2007).

Review: “Food Import Folly” editorial game

As I mentioned in my last post, as the world becomes more complex, our need to understand it through new media that can convey complexity grows. I was excited to learn that the New York Times is now publishing Persuasive Games‘ “newsgames” — a casual game about the FDA’s role in food inspections. This historic […]