What is Games for Change?

Sep 26, 2016 | 1 Votes by shilpa 10 rate Your vote
Games have been used as a fun way to learn for kids to adults; from people with disabilities to even people who have suffered tremendous mental trauma. However, can games be used to address social issues and to push for the necessary social changes in our modern society? WWGDB - What is Games for Change?

Have you ever thought how games can make a change? The entire idea of games making a change might seem funny to you, and at times even absurd. Smashing all misconceptions about gaming, Games for Change comes forth. Games for Change wants to make this world a better place through games. It is a community that plans to change the society through digital games.

What is Games for Change?

Suzanne Seggerman and Benjamin Stokes founded Games for Change in 2004, and they have been involved in doing numerous projects for social welfare. G4C is considered as a branch of games that are focused on woes of the society. Games for Change follows a policy of making a social change through gaming. Hundreds of people are associated with Games for Change, and most of them are from non-profit organisations. These people include non-profit directors, talented game developers and in addition to that there are academics and artists to complete the set. G4C exhibits a rather large network fully committed to changing society and its thought processes

Have you ever thought of learning through the eyes of the subject? G4C believes that distributing social impact games serves as crucial tools for causing a humanitarian impact. Suzanne Seggerman and Benjamin Stokes aim to leverage sources of entertainment and engagement for creating a social impact. G4C has increased the field of their expertise and reach by bringing in stakeholders and highlighting best programs. This helps create direct involvement of people and a direct investment in games.

How did the idea of Games for Change come about?

Asi Burak, a Board Director for G4C states the importance of digital gaming. Asi firmly believes that games can accomplish much more than we thought it could. As he claims, it can change a lot of things around the world, including the society if used correctly. Games always challenge people into solving problems that they might not come across in the real world. This is the selling point of a game and the prime meridian of G4C. Games can craft experiences no one could imagine and the possibilities are endless. These experiences have the ability to change one’s thoughts and thus have the potential to change one’s thoughts. It allows people to think about certain issues they previously never thought about before.

For example, in one of the games showcased by G4C, you can live as a homeless person. The game makes you sympathetic to the homeless. The game also allows you to think with your heart and clears your misconceptions about the homeless. It gives you a clear perspective, enabling you to treat homeless people better. See the change in yourself through playing a game? That’s how impactful games are.

Gameplay in Safe@Last

Peacemaker, a game made by Asi Burak, allows the gamer to broker a peace between Israel and Palestine. The game has received much criticism and backlashes, as most people are ignorant about the issues in Middle East. The game has got plenty press and people have accepted the social awareness the game spreads.

In another game called Nevermind, people can roam the subconscious mind of psychological trauma victims. Trauma can have many stories, places and faces and Nevermind lets you explore it. This enables to see the amount of trauma a person experiences and enables them to feel empathy for them. The game makes users walk away with the understanding of trauma and what damages it can cause.

Half the Sky, another game showcased by G4C helps you understand the social issues regarding the welfare of women. As such, this is a game that tries to uplift women empowerment through examples and planting ideas in heads. Countries like India, Kenya and the US received Half the Sky with critical acclaim. The game also raised a decent amount of money that went to NGOs.

G4C is not only about games though, as it holds many participation programmes and challenges. G4C held the 2015 NYC Games for Change Student Challenge. Regularly, G4C brings together students and game developers for exchanging ideas and concepts, and that is what exactly happened in 2015 NYC G4C Challenge. Every G4C challenge exhibits exchange of ideas and addresses social insecurities.

G4C also hosts game design competitions and helping game developers come into the limelight with their ideas and concepts. G4C collects some of the best concepts around the world, pushing the limits of game design. These competitions see many talents from within and outside the sector and thus it facilitates engagement and amalgamation.

End Thought

Games are a powerful form of metaphor and what sets them apart from awareness campaigns is their unique attributes. You love games because games allow decisions. Decisions have consequences, and moreover games do not filter anything making you think about your actions. Games are a positive force in this world and therefore it manages to solve world problems uniquely. Games for Change allows this and is therefore crucial in addressing social issues.

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