A nice review by that title on Fileplanet, a site dedicated to hard core gamers. Read the full version here.
Can games change the world? Yes they can. But not directly. It’s not as though playing PeaceMaker will make everyone drop their weapons and start hugging. But it does illuminate the news, and it gives you a much deeper understanding of what’s going on in the region. Raising awareness is a good start to finding a solution. If games like this were used in schools, it would help make problems in other parts of the world more real. And, maybe most important of all, it would get people talking. Hell, I just got a few hundred thousand hardcore gamers to think about Middle East peace. That’s something, right?
The Games for Change Festival was held this week in NYC (11-12th). As in recent years, a diverse line of speakers, panelists and community members with the passion to create games for the greater good. Gamasutra ran a good summary of the event.
The festival was highlighted by an expo of selected games and an award show. An audience choice award was given to MTVU’s Darfur is dying, created by Take Action Games, and a panel of judges selected finalists and announced the best games for change in three main categories: Airport Security won the Best Art/Commentary Game Award, Ayiti – the Cost of Life won the Best awareness-Raising Game and PeaceMaker won the Best Transformation Game. Here is a brief outline of the criteria:
For the best game which engages players on a deep and meaningful level around an important social issue, whose aims and outcomes are no less than to foster a powerful intellectual or behavioral transformation in it users. Criteria: Is it a good game, with good game play and a solid integration of game mechanic and content? How well did this game transform its players in learning or outlook? How effective might it be in creating concrete change in the real world? These are often bigger budget games aimed at deeper learning or change of world view.