8th Annual Games for Change Festival Celebrates the Global Expansion and Reach of Social Change Games on 4 Continents

Key Sessions to Showcase the Unique Programs That Explore the Global Significance Games Have on Our Societies

Jun 20, 2011, 08:30 ET from Games for Change

NEW YORK, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Games for Change, the leading advocate for supporting and making games for social impact, is celebrating the organization's new found global reach at this year's 8th Annual Games for Change Festival at the NYU Skirball Center June 20-22.  This is the most comprehensive festival exploring the significance games have on our global societies while explaining how we can further use games to deal with the most pressing social and political issues that affect us today – break down cultural barriers, shift perspectives and drive actions in the real world.

2011 was a landmark year for the organization as Games for Change chapters emerged in different regions of the world including:

  • In France, the Chamber of Commerce in Valenciennes supported the establishment of Games for Change Europe. Seeing an opportunity to link games with economic development, the government launched the first European Games for Change Festival in May 2011.

  • A newly-formed Latin America chapter, headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is moving quickly to forge strategic partnerships, including one with the Brazilian Association of the Game Industry and the Brazilian Computer Science Society.

  • The South Korean chapter of Games for Change has been going strong ever since its formation in 2007. The chapter has worked with the South Korean government to sponsor multi-million dollar game projects; hold annual game-making summer camps for youth.

"Over the last four years, the AMD Foundation and Games for Change have collaborated in support of the development of games that address social issues," said Allyson Peerman, Vice President of Public Affairs for AMD and President of the AMD Foundation. "The global expansion of Games for Change will expose other audiences to the important role that games have on society and the benefits of educating youth through game development.  Through the relationships we have formed through the Games for Change network, AMD Changing the Game, our signature education initiative, has been able to grow globally to inspire youth to learn critical science, technology engineering and math (STEM) skills by creating their own video games."

In recognition of Games for Change's global efforts, this year's festival features the following sessions addressing games from international perspectives:  


Seeing an opportunity to link games with economic development, The Chamber of Commerce in Valenciennes launched the first European Games for Change Festival in May 2011. Highlights from the first event of its kind will be shared with the audience, including some of the most innovative new games and European award winners.

Presenters: Jean-Michel Blottiere, Owner, NX Publishing; Sandra Faggioni, Digital Creation Project Manager, CCIV / POLE IMAGE NPDC and several European award-winners.


This session will look at a variety of recent games including "Green Grim" a game set in the backdrop of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea (inspired by the success of "PeaceMaker"); "Adventures in Law Land" launched by Korea's Ministry of Justice for the purpose of instilling respect and understanding of the law system (inspired by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's successful project iCivics), and "Global Conflicts: Latin America", the second in a compelling series of documentary games that has been adapted in Brazil.

Panelists: Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, CEO, Serious Games Interactive; Suzanna Samstag, Chapter Leader, Games for Change Korea; Gilson Schwartz, Director, Games for Change Latin America; Kim Hee Kwan, Deputy Minister of Planning & Coordination Bureau (Minister of Justice).


From USAID and the World Bank to private foundations and NGOs, international aid programs are increasingly embracing social media, gaming and mobile to affect change. This panel will assess the potential impact they will have on the future of democracy, government, and entrepreneurship by presenting current projects and policies moving forward.

Speakers: Dr. Erin Mote (moderator), Chief of Party at USAID GBI Alliance; Emer Beamer, Co-Founder & Research and Development Director, Butterfly Works; Colleen Macklin, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Design and Technology, Parsons the New School for Design; Subhi Quraishi, CEO of ZMQ Software Systems.

The Games for Change Festival is open to the public. For a complete line-up of programs, speakers, and to register, visit: www.gamesforchange.org/festival2011.

Major funding for the Games for Change Festival is provided by AMD Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional support provided by The Educational Foundation of America, Fenton, and Kognito Interactive. Games for Change is hosted at NYU by the Games for Learning Institute. G4LI was established in 2008 with a prestigious grant from Microsoft Research, and supplemental funding from the Motorola Foundation.

Games for Change (www.gamesforchange.org)

Games for Change is the leading global advocate for supporting and making games for social impact. We bring together organizations from the social impact sector, government, media, academia, the gaming industry and the arts to grow the field, incubate new projects and provide an open platform for the exchange of ideas and resources.

Games for Change Festival online pressroom: www.gamesforchange.org/festival2011/press

SOURCE Games for Change