Games for Change announces first slate of programming for its 15th annual festival


Games for Change, the festival that brings together gaming educators, developers, researchers, designers and more in the pursuit of gaming for social innovation, has announced the lineup of programming for their 15th annual Games for Change Festival. Running from June 28th to 30th, 2018, the festival will host a number of speakers, panels and workshops at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York City. By bringing together the broad range of thinkers and innovators within the gaming community, the festival seeks to advocate the power of videogames as a vehicle for social change.

As in previous years, the scope of the festival will be broken down into three tracks, this year’s being Civics & Social Issues, Neurogaming & Health, and the Games for Learning Summit. Each track comes with their own roster of distinguished speakers and interactive panels, such as “Mozak: Turning the World Into a Neuroscience Lab” with Zoran Popovic (Director at the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington), in which attendees will be encouraged to explore the links between decision-making and the mechanics of videogames, focusing on neuroscience and behavioral psychology. The “Games and Empathy” panel tackles the social application of videogames with moderators Matthew Farber (Assistant Professor at University of Northern Colorado) and Karen Schrier (Associate Professor/Director of Games at Marist College), while “MinecraftEDU” will examine how Minecraft Education is inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders through immersive learning.

In honor of its 15th year, Games for Change co-founder Barry Joseph (also the Associate Director of Digital Learning at the American Museum of Natural History) is encouraging attendees to bring in submissions from previous years to contribute to a pop-up museum. Celebrating the festival’s history through exhibits created by participants, Barry is set to host a workshop teaching copy writing and narrative creation, and the pop-up will be displayed for the entire community to enjoy over the course of the festival.

Last year’s VR for Change Summit, now the 2nd annual XR for Change Summit, will take place on June 30th, bringing the community together for a frank and open discussion on the advancement of new technologies and the development initiatives. Games for Change is expecting additional speakers specifically for this summit, so those interested in attending should keep their eyes peeled for an announcement in the coming weeks.

The 15th annual Games for Change festival promises to be bigger and better than ever while paying homage to their roots, staying true to the sense of social advocacy and passion for change that started it all. Tickets can be purchased here, with single day passes starting at $150.

Games for Change hopes to broaden the scope of social innovation through video game media