Games 4 Change: Great Power, Great Responsibility

SXSW Description

This talk will address the power of computer and video games as a mature entertainment medium and a largely untapped art form. It will make an impassioned case for using games for social impact and learning, with an overview of the latest trends and core challenges game developers and funders are facing.

Burak will share case studies and success stories from around the world, including his unique entry into the field, leading the team behind the award-winning game “PeaceMaker”.

Attendees will learn about the field at large and how Games for Change is leading the future of this movement on the global stage, and engaging policy makers such as Vice President Al Gore and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Initial Thoughts

I was on the fence about attending this session. I was trying to stick close to the Better Tomorrow themes in the main convention center, but it was one of those in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time kind of things. I’m a gamer (if you hadn’t known), and the thought of using and promoting games for good is something that pulls at my heartstrings. I am so so very glad I ended up here – Asi Burak is an incredibly inspirational man and a great speaker. The amount of knowledge I came away with was more than I thought so forgive me if my notes are a little jumbled.

If you don’t read any of this, I would still suggest you go check out Games 4 Change, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that “facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts.” It is an amazing organization and one that fully deserves everyone’s support.

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re gonna make a game, make it mean something.
  • Comic books became graphic novels to change their perception and raise their value. Why can’t we do this with games?
  • Games 4 Change is having its 9th annual festival this year. Last year they had over 800 thousand attendees.
  • Games 4 Change is promoted and supported by the White House.
  • Games are already in the classroom. They engage kids – fun and visual and helps them learn by letting them learn on their own.
  • Have youth make games. Give them the power to learn, create and lead to real world change through their own work.
  • Playing a game can inspire real world action.

Twitter Highlights

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Date & Location

Saturday, March 10, 2012
Palmer Events Center
Theme: Gaming

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SXSW Session Info