Games for Change
(also known as G4C
) is a movement and community of practice dedicated to using computer and video games
for social change. An individual video game may also be referred to as a "game for change" if it is produced by this community or shares its ideals. Games for Change is also the name for the nonprofit organization which is building the field for the new movement by providing support, visibility and shared resources to individuals and organizations using digital games for social change.
Games for Change is often considered a branch of Serious Games
focused on social issues
and social change
. Its members represent hundreds of non-profit directors
, game developers
and academics—a networkcommitted to social change through gaming
The movement first emerged as Games for Change at a Serious Issues, Serious Games' conference held at New York Academy of Sciences
on June 8 2004
The invitation-only event gathered 40+ foundations, academics and nonprofits for a day "to mobilize support for a medium with growing importance for nonprofits." The event was organized with the support of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
and Serious Games Initiative
, after several nonprofits at their December, 2003 gathering
in Washington, DC
noted the need for a dedicated space for those working on social change with nonprofit organizations. The NYC event served to jump-start the space, and was organized by Suzanne Seggerman
of Web Lab
, Benjamin Stokes of NetAid
, Barry Joseph of Global Kids
, David Rejeski
of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
and Thomas Lowenhaupt of the Queens Community Board
The movement grew legs after the first gathering as it launched a listserv dedicated to games and social issues and began holding satellite events at various events, including the Game Developers Conference, the Serious Games Summit, Education Arcade at E3, Games and Learning Conference, Taicon and several others.
The annual Games for Change conference has since been held in 2005 at CUNY and in 2006 with Parsons The New School for Design.
Games for Change is the central organization building the field around games and social change. The work includes providing an entry point for nonprofits and foundations new to the field. For the funding community, G4C shows signs of becoming a coordinating hub for collaborative investment and evaluation of social change games projects.
Strategically, Games for Change has three programmatic pillars:
- Supporting practitioners by facilitating an accessible community of practice that is empowered with the necessary tools, partners and information
- Spreading the best games by providing media focus, distribution channels and avenues to funding
- Increasing sector-wide efficacy by researching and documenting the field's emerging best practices
Based in New York City, Games for Change is currently led by President, Suzanne Seggerman.