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Games For Change Festival 2018 Announces XR For Change Programming

Today, Games for Change announced the XR programming for the 2018 Game For Change Festival, which runs from June 28 through June 30 at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

The XR for Change Summit will be a daylong event on June 30, and will “showcase a range of ways VR, AR and MR can have a meaningful impact in journalism, health, education and training. The goal is to explore how immersive technologies are used to address real-world challenges, create empathy and drive social change.” The event will consist of many varied presentations; talks, breakouts, and demos will all have a place at the XR for Change Summit.

The Summit will have feature keynote presentations by Walter Greenleaf, PhD (Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University), Tom Furness (Founder and Chairman of Virtual World Society and Founder of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Washington), and Nadine Hachach-Haram (Surgeon and Co-Founder of Proximie).

Games For Change Festival 2018 Announces XR For Change Programming - n3rdabl3
A shot of the crowd from last year’s Games for Change. (Source: EdSurge)

Other speakers include Kamal Sinclair (Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Director), Dan Ayoub (Microsoft Mixed Reality Education General Manager), Resham Sidhu (AKQA Creative Director), Chris Szymczak (UNICEf VR/AR Lead), Joanna Popper (HP Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment), Vijay Ravindran (Floreo, Inc. CEO), Courtney Cogburn (Columbia University Assistant Professor), Dan White (Filament Games CEO), and Boo Aguilar and Adam Haar Horowitz (FLAGCX Head of Next Generation Experience). Their panels will be covering a wide variety of topics, such as innovative and intuitive takes on childhood education using VR, how VR can be used to simulate a realistic human settlement on Mars, VR as a training tool for social interaction and communication for children with autism, funding VR projects, and much more.

The XR for Change Summit will also feature an immersive arcade that allows attendees to try out innovative XR works. Meeting a Monster by Oculus VR for Good and Life After Hate, Greenland Melting by Emblematic Group, Terminal 3 by Asad J. Malik, Jupiter and Mars by Tigertron, 1000 Cut Journey by Courtney Cogburn, Elise Ogle, Cogburn Research Group and Virtual Human Interaction Lab, This is Climate Change: Fire, Famine, Feast by Condition One, The Journey by Charlotte Mikkelborg, and She Flies by Her Own Wings by Oculus VR for Good and The Pride Foundation are just a few of the works that will be available to try out.

Prior to the Festival, there will also be an XR Brain Jam, a collaborative project that takes place between researchers and game developers to explore how VR can be used in neuroscience research and cognitive theory. The Brain Jam will take place from June 25 through June 27.

In previous years, this Summit was known as the VR for Change summit; however, the focus moved to XR in order to “incorporate other emerging technology in the hopes of being more inclusive for more developers,” according to Susanna Pollack, the President of Games for Change. She continued, saying, “We believe there is tremendous potential for impact in all of these technologies and look forward to nurturing a community that can explore the full breadth of possibilities in making social good experiences.

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.

For more information on programming during the Festival, please check out our previous articles on the subject herehere, and here. If you’re interested in attending this event, tickets are available here for single day or multi-day packages, with discounts for educators and current students.

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