Event organizers for the 15th annual Games for Change festival, which takes place June 28 to June 30 at Parsons School of Design in New York City, announced on Thursday its first slate of programming focusing on three tracks: civics and social impact, neurogaming and health, and games for learning.
This year’s featured panels include:
- “Cities Remixing ‘Pokemon GO'” — How a half-dozen cities positioned tens of thousands of players for local festivals, library campaigns, and youth empowerment.
- “MinecraftEDU” — A panel of school leaders will share how “Minecraft: Education Edition” is engaging students in immersive STEM learning.
- “BBC Earth: Life in VR” — The project’s core team will explore its editorial and strategic aims alongside the creative and transformational intent of the format.
- “Games and Empathy” — This panel will take a critical look at if and how empathy can be fostered in young people through the use of games.
- “Mozak: Turning the World Into a Neuroscience Lab” — Mozak’s international online community has reportedly sped up neuron reconstruction by a factor of 3.6 over previous state-of-the-art procedures through a symbiosis of human insight and enhanced computational tools. This talk will describe how Mozak managed to do this in just one year, and how they plan to accelerate neuroscience 10 times over the next three years.
- “Game to Grow: How Esports Can Shape Student Success” — The Orange County High School Esports League is leveraging student skills and passion for esports to frame an exciting new program for student learning that weaves STEM, English language arts, and social emotional learning into one of the most popular pastimes for students today. The League combines a competitive tournament, mentorship, adaptive learning programs, and a blooming curriculum (planned for Fall 2018).
Games for Change is a global advocate for video games as drivers of social good. Its annual festival invites educators, developers, researchers, and more to come together and discuss how the gaming industry can make a real-world impact. The organization made headlines recently when it released a gameplay montage highlighting the beauty and diversity of video games. The video was a response to another montage created by the White House showcasing violence in video games. That 88-second clip kicked off a meeting between President Donald Trump and the gaming industry last month.
“In 15 years, Games for Change has brought together and galvanized nonprofits, foundations, government, and the game community across a broad spectrum of issue areas,” said Games for Change president Susanna Pollack. “We look forward to 15 more years of supporting this emerging community of change makers. The ways we work together, teach each other, and learn more about our world have changed and will continue to change. We look forward to staying at the forefront of that change and supporting the next generation of social good and social impact.”
Anyone interested in attending the Games for Change festival can buy tickets via Eventbrite.