Location: New York

Problem: With more kids (and adults) isolating themselves from the real world by immersing themselves in the virtual world, how can real world problems resonate as, well, real?

Organization: Games for Change

Solution: Recognize and re-frame gaming as part of the solution of understanding other people, cultures, and situations – not as a roadblock. Consolidate these efforts. Distribute games as far and as free as possible.

The non-profit organization Games for Change provides support, visibility and shared resources to organizations and individuals trying to use digital games for social change. With names like Darfur is Dying, Death Penalty Fun and Vote Machine, its obvious that these aren’t your kid brother’s video games… or wait? Are they? Games for Change hopes titles like these will find their own niche in the video game collections of both kids and adults. They run the gamut of social change tools, from serious history lessons in games like A Force More Powerful, to role-playing scenarios in games like ICED: I Can End Deportation that allow the player to feel what it’s (slightly) like to be in someone else’s shoes, to games like Hydro Hijinks that teach the gamer about things like water management rights. Games for Change sees digital games as a medium of cultural exchange, and that in order to for activists to cross real boundaries and reach a younger segment of the population, the future of activism should push its boundaries into the virtual world. G4C is partnering with Parsons The New School of Design and working with the MacArthur Foundation in their new digital media and learning initiative. Even Microsoft has gotten on board with its Xbox 360 Games for Change Challenge – an indication that the coming revolution may be digitized.

For more info: Games for Change

Images courtesy Games for Change

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Posted October 18, 2007