Games for Change, which is holding its 15th annual Games for Change Festival this month, announced finalists on Friday for its awards ceremony.
The Games for Change Awards will present prizes in four categories: best gameplay, most innovative, most significant impact, and best learning game. All finalists will be contenders for the game of the year, which will be given to the title which best represents all categories.
The most innovative award is given to the experimental game which breaks “conventions of form or concept in a manner that may pave new ways for the sector.” The nominees are “Tree,” “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice,” “Bury Me, My Love,” and “MyoBeatz.”
Considering “What Remains of Edith Finch” won best game at the British Academy Games Awards in April, it could be a big contender in the Games for Change Awards this year. “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” also took home five BAFTA awards.
“MyoBeatz” and “Life Is Strange: Before the Storm” were also both nominated for the most significant impact category of the Games for Change Awards, which is intended for titles that target specific societal issues. “Antura and the Letters” and “Alpha Beat Cancer” were also nominated.
Finally, “Slice Fractions 2,” “Erase All Kittens,” “Attentat 1942,” and “Antura and the Letters” were all nominated for best learning game.
Also at the event, Katie Salen, co-founder and chief designer of Connected Camps, will receive the Vanguard Award for her “commitment to games with social impact.”
Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change, says that this year’s competition is “proving to be our most inspiring yet.”
“While our Vanguard Award Recipient has made a career out of working at the intersection of games, design and learning, nominees for other awards are using digital games and entertainment engagement to help address a wide range of issues – from the literacy of a child refugee, to ecology and mental health, “ Pollack stated in a press release. “We’re proud to honor their work.”
Winners will be announced and the Vanguard Award presented to Salen at the ceremony on June 28 at the Games for Change Festival. The festival will be hosted at the New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York June 28-30. Games for Change is an organization that advocates games that have positive social impact.