GDC 2018 | March 19 — 23, 2018 | Moscone Convention Center | San Francisco, California


|    Programming

Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. Games for Change @ GDC represents, for the first time, an opportunity to bring together those funders, NGOs, government agencies and educators seeking to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good with leading game developers from the independent and commercial sector. Through case studies, roundtables, lectures and demos, Games for Change @ GDC will highlight models for collaboration on game design, bridging the gap between commercial and issue driven game development, distribution and publishing alternatives, and much more.

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Ian Livingstone
From Dungeons to Downing Street - How Games are Growing Up for Good!
Ian Livingstone (Eidos)
The games industry is often portayed in a negative light in the mass media. It is seldom reported the good that games can do. Playing games can help people learn about solving puzzles, problems, choice and consequence, and intuitive learning. Games can be social and active. Games can be used as a learning tool at school. Games can also give back. Ian Livingstone, Life President of Eidos, will share his experiences in raising the profile of the industry with the UK government, most recently with the Next Gen report on skills, how the UK games industry gives back via the GamesAid charity, and mentoring PlayMob, a games start-up with a business model that focuses on "giving".
AAA Game Mechanics
AAA Game Mechanics Inspiring Learning and Assessment Mechanics
Jan L. Plass (NYU/Games for Learning Institute)
Games live and die by their game mechanics. Engaging mechanics compensate for shortcomings in aesthetics, musical score, or level design, but nothing can make up for lackluster mechanics. This is especially the case for games for learning, which place additional constraints on the design of learning mechanics-specifically designed to foster learning, and assessment mechanics-specifically designed to measure learning outcomes. These mechanics can be inspired by game mechanics from successful commercial triple-A titles. We will describe our approach to designing games using these custom mechanics and present demonstrations from our library of related learning and assessment mechanics and their foundations.
Games With Purpose
More Than Fun: Designing Games With Purpose
Phil Stuart (Preloaded)
Raph Koster said,"The best games have something they are ABOUT and both the theming and the mechanics serve as lenses on that one thing". As the world wakes up to the power that games have to do more than just entertain, this talk explores the challenges faced when creating games with a specific educational or communication objective. Specifically, how to put the 'about' at the beginning of the game design process.
Battlestorm: Games as a Powerful Tool for Community Engagement
Scott Hoffer (Zynga New York), Jessica Goldfin (Knight Foundation) and Mayur Patel (Knight Foundation)
In 2011 Knight Foundation partnered with Area/Code (now Zynga New York) to create two place-based social impact games designed to bring communities together in new ways. One of these games is Battlestorm, which combines elements of theatrical spectacle, reality game show, physical sport and online games to empower youth around hurricane preparedness in the Gulf Coast community. This session will focus on iterative design as both a method of game development as well as a potentially powerful tool for community engagement. In this postmortem presentation, we will look back at what worked, what didn't, and what we can do better next time.


Asi Burak
Games for Change
Asi leads on the curation, development and execution of programs to raise the quality and influence of games for social change. He serves as the spokesperson for the organization. Major funders/partners include: The MacArthur Foundation, USAID, the World Bank and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. He is also the award-winning Executive Producer who co-founded Impact Games, the creators of the internationally acclaimed "PeaceMaker" and "Play the News" gaming platforms (acquired 2010). He holds a Masters of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA in Design from the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem.
Michelle Byrd
Games for Change
Michelle leads on institutional relationship and partnership efforts, along with fundraising, business affairs, financial management, and communications strategy. She oversees the Games for Change Festival, which in 2011 featured keynotes from VP Al Gore and the Department of Education's James Shelton, an awards ceremony celebrating the best "games for change" and a new strategic relationship with the NYU-based Games for Learning Institute. Prior to joining Games for Change in 2010, Michelle served for 12 years as the Executive Director of the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers in the US.


Electronic Arts is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company's game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

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