It has always been, for a decade and a half, a convening of people who make games, love games and use games for social good in the world. And this year NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio gave it official standing in the Gotham city proclaiming, June 28th, Games for Change day.
The festival marked a meaningful 15th anniversary making it old enough to become an institution and young enough for everyone involved to believe it’s still nimble. The organization runs all year and culminates in this event which draws people from all over the world to discuss, plan, plot and swap notes about where and how efforts are making a difference. They are tackling complex global problems from climate change to literacy, equality, inclusion to mental illness. This year the tracks included Games for Learning, Civics and Social Issues, Neurogaming and Health, Games for Learning, Civics and Social Issues, and XR (virtual, augmented and mixed realities).
Susanna Pollack is the president of Games for Good and a force of nature. She’s developed robust programming that spans three days and provides extraordinary opportunities for connection and thus, new ideas to form and grow. There were programs for students.
And of course, plenty of games to experience including the debut of Lost City of Mer intended to “inspire players about the impact that humans and their carbon footprint are having on the oceans.” A full list of the games that won awards is here.
This is an important organization, of which I am an ambassador because they have and are leading the way on gamifying content. Gamifying content can be a powerful tool for multi-disciplinary purposes. It’s moved into the mainstream and the potential to educate, engage and change behavior for the better is happening.