GAMES FOR CHANGE 2017 Award Finalists

GAMES FOR CHANGE 2017 Award Finalists

MINECRAFT: EDUCATION EDITION, SEA HERO QUEST, 1979 REVOLUTION: BLACK FRIDAY, AND MORE NAMED 2017 GAMES FOR CHANGE AWARDS FINALISTS

Winners to be Announced During 14th Annual Games for Change Festival at Parsons School of Design at The New School July 31 – August 2

(NEW YORK, NY) July 11, 2017 — Games for Change, the leading global advocate for the power of games as drivers of social impact, today announced the finalists for the 2017 Games for Change Awards. The Games for Change Awards will celebrate the year’s best games for social impact at the 14th Annual Games for Change Festival, which will feature keynote speakers like, Megan Smith (former White House Chief Technology Officer), Gabo Arora (Founder and Creative Director of LightShed), Luke Crane (Head of Games at Kickstarter) and Anjali Bhimani (Actress/voice of Symmetra in “Overwatch” and Nisa in
“Fallout: 4”). The winners will be announced on the evening of Monday, July 31.

A blue-ribbon jury featuring leaders of the gaming community, philanthropic sector, media, and tech selected eleven finalists in the following categories:

Best Gameplay, Most Innovative, Most Significant Impact and Best Learning Game. All nominees will be considered for the top honor, Game of the Year, which is awarded to the game that best exemplifies all categories.

The finalists for the 2017 Games for Change Awards are:

BEST GAMEPLAY:

  • Minecraft: Education Edition: Minecraft: Education Edition is a version of the popular open world game, Minecraft, specifically designed for traditional classroom environments. Available now for purchase by educators around the world, it contains features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom like an in-game camera and student privacy features.
  • Sea Hero Quest: Sea Hero Quest is the world’s first game where anyone can help scientists fight dementia. As a sea explorer’s son, save your father’s memories by navigating your boat through five levels. Your navigational skills will be recorded with the data contributed to a global benchmark for special navigation, helping dementia research.
  • Tracking Ida: Tracking Ida is an educational ARG inspired by pioneering journalism of Ida B. Wells and piloted in Watts in 2017. Players learned about Wells’ crusade against lynching by unlocking archives and solving puzzles. Connecting history to the present, they investigated police killings today and learned media making to spread awareness.

MOST INNOVATIVE:

  • Epistory – Typing Chronicles: Epistory immerses you in an atmospheric action/adventure game where you play a girl riding a giant fox who fights an insectile corruption from an origami world. As you progress and explore this world, the story literally unfolds and the mysteries of the magic power of the words are revealed.
  • Everything: Everything is about the quiet explosion of life going on all around us. It is a simulation of reality where everything you see is a thing you can be, from animals to planets to galaxies and beyond – you can be the Universe or create your own.
  • PRY: PRY is a hybrid app that collides cinema, game and book to reimagine how we can touch, close and pry into a story, moving seamlessly among words and images to explore layers of character’s consciousness.

MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT:

  • Liyla and the Shadows of the War: Liyla and the Shadows of the War is a game based on actual events, it tells a story of little girl lives in Gaza during the war in 2014.
  • Walden, A Game: Walden, A Game, is a first-person simulation of the life of American philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, during his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond. Players follow in Thoreau’s virtual footsteps, balancing their basic survival needs with a search for the sublime in the small beauties of the woods.
  • Minecraft: Education Edition: Minecraft: Education Edition is a version of the popular open world game, Minecraft, specifically designed for traditional classroom environments. Available now for purchase by educators around the world, it contains features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom like an in-game camera and student privacy features.

BEST LEARNING GAME:

  • 1979 Revolution: Black Friday: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a choice driven, narrative game that brings players into the brooding world of a nation on the verge of collapse. Play as Reza, an aspiring photojournalist, and make life and death decisions as you survive the gritty streets of Iran in the late 1970’s.
  • Dragonbox BIG Numbers: Dive into the world of the Nooms and learn big numbers, long addition and subtraction! Your child is challenged to think strategically over the course of the game to trade resources and unlock new worlds.
  • At Play in the Cosmos: At Play in the Cosmos puts players in the pilot’s seat, where they journey through space and time in a quest to solve mission challenges. The game helps students build an intuitive understanding of the scale of the universe, the tools astronomers use, and the process of science.

“We are excited to announce the 2017 Games for Change Award finalists, bringing attention to games that are impacting people all around the world,” said Susanna Pollack, President of Games for Change.

“It is so amazing to see the evolution of these games year after year and how they become more diverse in the ways that they have an impact on society beyond entertainment.”

The Games for Change Festival remains the leading international event that unites game creators with organizations and thought leaders who are incorporating gaming into diverse industries including: education, health and civic society. This year, the festival will have an expanded focus on virtual reality with the first VR for Change Summit. Over the years, the festival has played host to notable speakers ranging from Vice President Al Gore to the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

For additional information on this year’s keynote speakers and the latest news on all programming, please visit http://www.gamesforchange.org/festival.

Additional speakers and programming information can be found on the Games for Change website. To purchase tickets, please visit https://g4c17.eventbrite.com.

Registration includes access to the full Games for Change program on July 31st – August 2nd 2017 at Parsons School of Design. The Games for Change Festival runs daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

Related: Games for Change to Host Live Pitch Event for Game Developers at Annual Games for Change Festival