The 8th annual Games for Change Festival kicks off today in New York City. The event, which runs until June 22, is taking place at the NYU Skirball Center. The event is dedicated to using games to deal with the most pressing social and political issues that affect the world today by breaking down cultural barriers, shifting perspectives and driving actions in the real world.
This year's event features several sessions addressing games from an international perspective including one focusing on Games For Change in Europe.
In May 2011 the Chamber of Commerce in Valenciennes launched the first European Games for Change Festival. Highlights from the first event will be shared with the audience, including some of the new games and European award winners. The session will be presented by Jean-Michel Blottiere, Owner, NX Publishing; Sandra Faggioni, Digital Creation Project Manager, CCIV / POLE IMAGE NPDC and several European award-winners.
A session called "Games For Change Around the World: Global Inspirations and Interpretations" will showcase a number of recent games including "Green Grim," a game set in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea and inspired by the success of the game "PeaceMaker"; "Adventures in Law Land," a game launched by Korea's Ministry of Justice for the purpose of "instilling respect and understanding of the law system," inspired by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's successful project iCivics; and "Global Conflicts: Latin America", the second game in a series of documentary games adapted in Brazil. Panelists for the session include Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, CEO, Serious Games Interactive; Suzanna Samstag, Chapter Leader, Games for Change Korea; Gilson Schwartz, Director, Games for Change Latin America; Kim Hee Kwan, Deputy Minister of Planning & Coordination Bureau (Minister of Justice).
"International Aid Programs, Social Media, Gaming, and Mobile: The New Frontier" looks at the growing trend of international aid group embracing new media to get their messages out. Speakers include Dr. Erin Mote (moderator), Chief of Party at USAID GBI Alliance; Emer Beamer, Co-Founder & Research and Development Director, Butterfly Works; Colleen Macklin, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Design and Technology, Parsons the New School for Design; Subhi Quraishi, CEO of ZMQ Software Systems.
For more information on Games for Change and a complete list of programs and speakers, check out www.gamesforchange.org/festival2011.