On Thursday, organizers for the fifteenth annual Games For Change Festival announced some of the featured panels and programs that will be taking place during the June festival.
These panels cover a wide variety of topics, such as “MinecraftEDU,” a panel where school leaders share how the education edition of Minecraft engage students in STEM learning, “Games and Empathy,” which means to explore if and how empathy can be fostered in youths through the use of games, and “Mozak: Turning the World Into a Neuroscience Lab,” which discusses how Mozak’s online community has sped up neuron reconstruction.
There are also panels on the social impact of Pokemon Go, BBC Earth’s reaction and adaptation to a VR format, and even one about Orange County High School’s esports league, which is pioneering a new program for student learning that seeks to weave STEM, language arts, and social/emotional learning together in the context of esports.
There will also be the annual award ceremony held at the festival. The Games for Change Awards go to the year’s best games for social impact and learning. The award categories are Most Innovative, Best Gameplay, Best Learning Game, Most Significant Impact and Game of the Year. Previous winners include Walden, A Game (Most Significant Impact, Game of the Year 2017), Everything (Most Innovative), Life is Strange (Most Significant Impact, Game of the Year 2016), Gone Home (Game of the Year 2014), Papers, Please (Most Innovative, Best Gameplay), among many other instantly-recognizable titles.
Games for Change, the organization behind this festival, was founded in 2004 and encourages game creators and social innovators to “drive real-world change using games and technology that help people to learn, improve their communities, and contribute to make the world a better place.” The group encourages the exchange of ideas and resources from both experienced, professional game developers, and students just starting out.
The Games for Change Festival 2018 will take place from June 28 to June 30 at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Tickets are available here for each day or all days in a package, with discounts for educators and current students.