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#G4C! Highlights from Day 3 of the 11th Annual Games for Change Festival

The final day for panels and workshops for Games For Change did not disappoint. The strongest panel discussed gender diversity in the Industry and must be watched.

Archived footage from Thursday’s panels can be found here:

Highlights from Thursday included:

Jenova Chen’s award-winning games have captured the imagination of the next generation of game creators and fans alike. In his talk, Chen discussed in depth the crucial design decisions made in the development of flOw, Flower and Journey that unraveled a blank canvas for new game experiences, emotional storytelling and player interactions that positively inspire and connect audiences worldwide.


Gender diversity in the game industry is a popular topic, now discussed in many game and tech industry conferences. However, with all that has been said, how much closer are we to achieving gender parity? For the first time, Games for Change brought together a leadership conversation with 3 entrepreneurial frontrunners who are female role models in the ‘games for good’ movement: Dr. Jane McGonigalDr. Constance Steinkuehler Squire, and Dr. Idit Harel Caperton. These three trailblazing women discussed, each from her unique perspective, the state of game media beyond the grim statistics, and what needs to happen to achieve 50/50 gender parity–among game creators, game content and characters, academic research, marketing, and education policy. They also shared concrete strategies on how the games-for-change movement can be at the front of this effort moving forward.


FEED was a live outdoor game that took place just across the street from NYU Skirball Center in Washington Square Park. Players explored the complex issues of global hunger as an activist distributing food. By using positioning and tracking technologies, players distributed virtual resources from prosperous areas to areas suffering from hunger by transporting them in the physical space of the park. The virtual world reacted in real time to the physical gameplay as the resources were distributed. Along the way, players encountered civil strife, natural disasters, and other obstacles to overcome in order to help those in need.


The Truth Box is a traveling story booth that is part of the (Dis)Honesty Project – a collaboration between behavioral economist Dan Ariely and filmmaker Yael Melamede – which aims to improve our behavior and ethics. The Truth Box invited participants to share the truth about a lie they have told on camera. Material recorded in The Truth Box may become featured content on the project website, social media platforms and in the feature documentary “(Dis)Honesty, The Truth About Lies”.


In a session focusing on Pittsburgh, we learned that gamers, technologists, artists, teachers, and others are working across boundaries to create remarkable learning experiences for children and youth both in and out of school. Pittsburgh’s learning innovators, collectively known as the Kids+Creativity Network, have developed a 21st century model to support creative, collaborative, and connected learning opportunities. This talk-show style panel discussed some of the many ways that Pittsburgh’s interconnectedness is helping to remake learning for our times.


Countless learning game developers have poured time and energy into building games they think schools will want, only to find out that schools really don’t want what they are selling. The reality is that unless developers convince schools that their games will improve student learning, they will not experience success in the K-12 marketplace. Another panel examined just what it takes to turn the fantasy of a game into a successful learning and assessment tool, the most common mistakes developers make, and what opportunities are mostly likely to open up for game developers trying to crack the code of the K-12 marketplace.

The G4C Awards Showcase featured the finalists in contention for the 2014 Games for Change Awards and gave festival-attendees the opportunity to demo these games and learn more about their design and impact from our expert game ambassadors.


Dean Karlan, who literally wrote the book on achieving and evaluating social impact, shared his expertise on impact assessment and his ideas on prediction games for personal behavior modification, both as a tool to set realistic expectations and as a means to implement personal goals.


Co.lab, a new accelerator based in San Francisco for startups working in the intersection of games and learning, is working with Zynga and the NewSchools Venture Fund to help ed-tech startups. Co.lab reviewed their model, particularly how they work with Zynga for the benefit of their cohort companies.


April 28, 2014 - Posted by | CULTURE, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, TECHNOLOGY, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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