Games 4 Change

So, as a follow-on to a workshop last week, and in preparation for an upcoming workshop I thought I’d share a few thoughts about more games in this “Persuasive Games” genre that are highlighted by the website, Games For Change (G4C)–their motto: “Real world games, real world impact”.  G4C was created in 2004 and is an online resource to help “organizations network and develop video game projects beyond their traditional expertise, and provides special assistance to foundations and nonprofits entering the field.”

Their site contains various blogs, and currently highlights a G4C Festival that was held early this summer.  Among the people involved in this conference were Henry Jenkins & James Gee.  You can read more about the festival here and here.  As we discussed earlier in this blog, games alone aren’t enough to support learning, a view echoed by Gee and Jenkins who suggested that “communities surrounding games play a critical role in creating space for discussion and mentorship that cultivates learning.”

Ian Bogost also attended (we’ll come back to Ian and his ideas of persuasive games and procedural rhetoric) and discussed his ideas on “computational journalism”–the notion that people who report the news should use media such as “infographics and games” as tools to communicate.  Examples cited include “The Redistricting Game” (whose purpose is to “educate, engage, and empower” people about redistricting and “Budget Hero” (a game about the federal budget).

These are just a couple of games amongst a laundry list of games listed.  The categories of games offered range from human rights, poverty, and public policy to economics, environment and global conflict. Next, let’s look @ a few of these games in a bit more depth.

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