Games for Change Competition Deadline Approaches
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Students in five different cities have until the end of April to submit their games to the "Games for Change Student Challenge," taking place right now in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Detroit. The competition is intended to encourage young people to create digital games that combine story-telling with civic engagement.
Game themes vary from city to city but cover from one to four categories: kindness and empathy, wildlife conservation, news literacy and connected cities.
Many of the participants will already have taken game design courses, attended game "jams" and workshops and learned how to tackle social issues through game-making. Those events are led by teachers who have gone through district-provided professional development on how to run game design courses in their schools.
The competition is open to students in grades 6–12, working individually or as a member of a team. Winners will have their games featured during this year's Games for Change Festival, taking place in late June in New York City. The winning entries from last year explored the hardships of immigrating to the United States, the future of transportation and strategies for transforming cities into green cities to fight climate change.
A list of resources for teachers and students is available on the Games for Change national website, including links to professional development, game engines and access to graphics, sound effects and storyboarding tools.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.