As the Game Developers Conference Online
event kicks off in Austin, TX this week, the event’s parent
organization, the UBM TechWeb Game Network
debuts a browser-based game commissioned for Web Wise Kids (WWK), a non-profit company for the benefit of child safety.
The free title is called Passing The Ball and is created by notable indie game creator Gregory Weir (The Majesty Of Colors). It’s an action game that follows a parent and their child as they learn an important lesson about working together.
Using generative music and randomized opponents, the game is currently available on the official GDC Online website, and will be available on multiple worldwide online game sites in the near future.
The message conveyed by Passing The Ball is pertinent to many of
the online game creators attending this week’s leading online game show
in Texas. These developers consider the best ways to encourage child
safety for younger players of their immensely popular games.
The title is also designed to be played by parents and children who may
be mindful of their role in protection from injurious online content,
and how Web Wise Kids might help them with this.
Passing The Ball includes a donation link
to Web Wise Kids, and marks the first advocacy game commissioned by the
UBM TechWeb Game Network, as it recognizes the importance of video
games in promulgating social messages.
Next March, the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco will continue this initiative by including a one-day Games For Change @ GDC event, created by the same non-profit team behind the popular New York event of the same name.
In addition to commissioning the game for Web Wise Kids and adding the
‘donate’ link to the game, the UBM TechWeb Game Network has donated
$1,000 directly to WWK to help its strong existing programs to “promote a
culture of safety, responsibility and respect for youth and families in
the digital world.”
As an organization, Web Wise Kids has a unique approach to Internet
safety using state-of-the-art games to effectively communicate Internet
and cell phone safety strategies to today’s young people. WWK’s school
approved crime-prevention programs have prepared over 10 million youth
and thousands of parents to be their own first lines of defense from
online and cell phone danger.
“We’re pleased to debut Passing The Ball as an example of a
thoughtful, allegorical web game that helps people consider their role
in helping young people make themselves safe online,” says Simon
Carless, EVP of the UBM TechWeb Game Network. “The game’s underlying
concept is that multiple parties have to act together to protect kids
online, and we’ve enjoyed working with Web Wise Kids to craft and
release the game to help put their important message across.”
GDC Online takes places from October 10th to 13th at the Austin
Convention Center in Austin, Texas. More information about the
conference and expo is available at its official website.