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Monday, September 08, 2008

Games for Change

A number of sources have recently been discussing the virtues and vices associated with creating games that raise social consciousness.

One great resource are some postings by Jeff Cobb over at Mission to Learn. He has created two lists of games for change. One is called 26 Learning Games to Change the World and the other is 7 More Learning Games for Change. Check out the two lists. Great links to some thought provoking games (some of which are really fun to play and others are a just a social message disguised as a game. Thanks to Jeff for taking the time to assemble the comprehensive list.

Additionally, at MSNBC, I found an article along the same lines called Can video games be a force for change? which has many of the same games listed but with some interesting discussion as well. For example, here is a small bit from the article
Genocide in Rwanda, torture in Sudan, poverty in Haiti, political shenanigans in the United States — video games are tackling some of the most pressing and depressing issues of our time. They’re called serious games, persuasive games and games for change. But while some developers and activists think these games offer a particularly potent and increasingly important method of getting information out to the world at large, some gamers and game industry folks seem to think sociopolitical messages and games go together like dog poo on a birthday cake.
Read the entire article for yourself and decide.

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Jeff Cobb said...

Karl - Thanks so much for the mention here. It was your book that got me paying much more attention to games. At the risk of sounding shamelessly self-promotional, I'll also point to an article I did recently for WE Magazine, Playing for Change, mostly because it provides a little more thought than my list postings do. (And WE also features some great articles by writers far more talented than I.) - Jeff

Karl Kapp said...


Glad the book helped and thanks so much for the link to Playing for Change. Good Stuff!


Anonymous said...

This is a great advancement for not only technology but the human condition. We are slow recognize the potential power of social consciousness. Once we are truly able to harness it and present it via games or in other ways that the masses are more acceptable of them the better off we are as a whole. We all have the ability within us to create change, for now we will look towards games where we can believe for moments at a time that boundaries do not exist.

It all depends on How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?