Games for Change Launches Youth-Focused Initiative, Raising Good Gamers

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Global nonprofit community Games for Change and The Connected Learning Lab have announced a new initiative, Raising Good Gamers, a program that aims to change the toxic culture of online gaming by giving voice to the next generation of gamers.

Raising Good Gamers will bring 30 middle and high school teenagers for a TED-Ed program, TED’s youth and education initiative. Five of the participants will then go on to receive coaching by TED-Ed and speak at the inaugural Games for Change Youth Summit, which is tentatively scheduled for June 2021. Featured talks will be upload the TED-Ed Student Talks YouTube channel.

“TED-Ed is on a mission to celebrate and amplify the voices of young people around the world,” said Ashley Kolaya of TED-Ed. “We believe this generation’s creativity, their art, their questions, their play — this generation’s ideas will define the future of our world. While Raising Good Gamers aims to build kinder, more civically engaged gamers, TED-Ed believes the most powerful tool for making that happen are the ideas and voices of those gamers,”

The Raising Good Gamers initiative is made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Susan Crown Exchange.

“We have long imagined an event just for teens, and with support from TED-Ed and the grant from the Susan Crown Exchange, we are bringing that vision to life with the first Games for Change Youth Summit in 2021 featuring youth experts from Raising Good Gamers,” said Susan Pollack, president, Games for Change.

Raising Good Gamers was announced during the Games for Change Festival, which is taking place online right now through July 16.

Games for Change Awards G4C Giving Award to Humble Bundle

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Nonprofit gaming organization Games For Change, has announced the recipients for several of their awards for the upcoming G4C Awards Ceremony, which will be live streamed during the Games for Change Festival on July 14.

This year Games for Change has a new award, the G4C Giving Award, which is going to Humble Bundle.

“For our inaugural G4C Giving Award, there is no better choice than Humble Bundle, which over the past decade has raised more than $182 million, fundamentally changing how developers and organizations connect with the gaming community through innovative fundraising, stellar content and great prices,” said Susanna Pollack, president, Games for Change.

This year alone Humble has released several high-profile bundles for major catastrophes and events, including the Australian wildfires, racial justice in the US, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fight for Racial Justice bundle raised over $4 million for organizations such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Bail Project.

“We’re humbled to accept the Giving Award from Games for Change this year. Our hope is to use our platform to be a force for good in the industry, and we’re constantly blown away by the generosity of the Humble community,” said Alan Patmore, general manager at Humble Bundle. “Since March, they’ve helped raise over $10 million to support the response to COVID-19 and the fight for racial justice. Everyday Humble customers are making a huge difference for charities throughout the world.”

Games for Change is also awarding this year’s Vanguard Award to Gordon Bellamy. Bellamy is an industry veteran with nearly 20 years of leadership experience with Tencent, Electronic Arts, MTV, and Madden NFL Football, as well as the International Game Developers Association.

The Industry Leadership Award will be presented to Microsoft. You’ll have to tune in to the G4C Awards Ceremony on July 14 for the Best games and People’s Choice awards.

Games for Change Festival Features Over 100 Sessions in July

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Non-profit gaming advocacy organization Games for Change is hosting their 17th Games for Change Festival virtually this year. Games for Change Festival 2020 will take place July 14-16, and is free to register.

The festival will feature over 150 experts from around the gaming industry, including keynote speakers Dr. Courtney Cogburn, who will discuss virtual reality and anti-racism, and Colleen Macklin, who will highlight the best games for diversity and inclusivity.

“Now in its 17th year, the Games for Change Festival has become a center point for striving to solve today’s most urgent problems – bringing together technologists, advocates, academics and government officials,” said Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change. “As the world grapples with a pandemic, justice, mental health and inclusivity – the Festival will explore how games and immersive media drive accessibility for all, offer alternatives to pharmaceutical medicine, tackle social injustice and create caring online communities.”

The festival is organized into four primary areas: Health & Wellness, Games for Learning, Civics & Social Issues, and XR for Change. Session topics include “Making Video Games for Autistic People,” “Gamifying Social Distancing,” and “Changing Narratives with Immersive Storytelling.”

Participants include speakers from Microsoft, Niantic, Ubisoft, Roblox, Time Magazine, and the Anti-Defamation League. The festival will also include the Games for Change Awards Ceremony.

Registration requires purchasing a free virtual ticket to allow access. The Games for Change Festival will run July 14-16.

HTC VIve funding UN goals

HTC Vive Announces $10 Million Fund for VR Experiences

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What’s different about VR? It feels real! Some experts say VR delivers such powerful experiences that they can build empathy that will lead to real change.

Betting big on that concept, last week HTC Vive announced a new program to fund virtual reality projects based on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. HTC Vive is offering $10 million to “drive VR content and technologies that will …transform the world.” Read More

Challenge of Diversity competition

Games for Change and Interlude Launch Interactive Storytelling Competition

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If you’re a game designer, visual novelist, or filmmaker interested in interactive storytelling and diversity, this may be the opportunity for you. Games for Change and Interlude, makers of the Treehouse authoring platform, are teaming up to sponsor an interactive storytelling competition called The Challenge of Diversity. Competitors will create an interactive video series to discuss “the opportunities, difficulties, and complexities of living in the most diverse country on Earth.” Read More