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Games for Change Announces 2014 Award Finalists


Games for Change Announces 2014 AWARD Finalists

Special Awards Ceremony to Be Held During 11th Annual Games for Change Festival at the NYU Skirball Center on April 23;

(NEW YORK, NY) March 26, 2014 —Games for Change (G4C), a non-profit that catalyzes social impact through digital games, today announced the finalists for the 2014 G4C Awards to take place during the 11th Annual Games for Change Festival (April 22-24 & 26), as part of the of Tribeca Innovation Week during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival presented by AT&T (TFF). Winners will be selected in the following categories: Most Significant Impact; Most Innovative; Best Gameplay; and Game of the Year. Created by Games for Change, the annual awards are designed to celebrate excellence in the year’s best games for social impact and learning. The eight finalists were selected by a blue-ribbon jury and the awards will be presented to winners on the evening of Wednesday, April 23 at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts. The event will be hosted by Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games and a leader in creating transformational games.

There will also be our special annual “Game Changer Award,” which recognizes significant, global contributions of individuals who inspire and mentor new generations of game creators and researchers. This year’s recipient is Dr. James Paul Gee. Gee's work has focused on the learning attributes in digital games and how these learning attributes can be applied to the K-12 classroom and beyond. Gee's work has been cited by numerous studies in the field of games for change and learning, and served as the foundation for strategic funding, such as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Gee was involved as an advisor and mentor in many successful projects, such as: Quest to Learn, iCivics, Gamestar Mechanic, and the Games for Change Festival itself.  

This year’s Games for Change Awards features Papers Please, developed by Lucas Pope as a finalist in two categories: Most Innovative and Best Gameplay. The game is a dystopian thriller where players take the daunting role of an immigration inspector for the fictional communist state of Arstotzka. Players must decide who can enter and who will be turned away or arrested. Pope was previously nominated by Games for Change as a developer for his work on the game Republia Times.

The rest of the 2014 finalists for the Games for Change Awards are:

  • The Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey, nominated forMOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
    • Developer: THIRTEEN, American Social History Project, and Electric Funstuff
    • In the first interactive project told from a Northern Cheyenne perspective, players must react to the encroachment of settlers, expansion of railroads, decline of buffalo, and rise of the reservation system in the 1860s and 1870s.
  • Start the Talk, nominated forMOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
    • Developer: Kognito
    • This roleplaying game helps parents build practical skills and confidence to talk with their child about underage drinking in real life.
  • Migrant Trail, nominated forMOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
    • Developer: Gigantic Mechanic
    • Based on the 90-minute documentary “The Undocumented” and inspired by learning videogame The Oregon Trail, The Migrant Trail provides a first-person experience of the hazards that migrants and Border Patrol encounter along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Sound Self, nominated forMOST INNOVATIVE
    • Developer: Robin Arnott
    • A collision of centuries old meditation technology with the videogame trance. Turn off the lights, amp up the volume, and use your voice to fall through an odyssey of light and body.
  • Súbete al SITP, nominated forMOST INNOVATIVE
    • Developer: 12 Hit Combo!
    • Bogotá’s new Integrated Public Transport System (SITP) brought Colombia’s capital more mobility but also more confusion: SITP is a complex system. With thousands of active players, Súbete al SITP helped the city get up to speed by teaching players how to get around.
  • Gone Home, nominated forBEST GAMEPLAY
    • Developer: The Fullbright Company
    • June 7th, 1995. You arrive home after a year abroad. You expect your family to greet you, but the house is empty. What's happened? Unravel the mystery in this story game that challenges you to explore the secrets and artifacts of a family that seems as real as your own.
  • TyrAnt, nominated forBEST GAMEPLAY
    • Developer: Preloaded
    • TyrAnt is a real-time strategy game that teaches the player how ants eat, communicate and, ultimately, reproduce within a delicate and biologically diverse ecosystem. It is among the first of the learning games rolled out to a number of US schools as part of Amplify’s pilot program.

Whether crowd-funded or supported by public and private funding, the finalists reflect the increasing diversity of forms, audiences and subject matter embraced by developers making games for change. To reach this stage, game developers from around the world were asked to submit their games for consideration by a blue-ribbon panel of judges featuring leaders of the gaming community, philanthropic sector, non-profits and education. For a complete list of Nominating Panel Members visit

Additionally and unique to 2014, E-Line Media and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center are proud to honor the winners of the 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge at the Games for Change Festival. Announced at the White House by President Obama in 2010, the National STEM Challenge encourages youth in grades 5-12 to design original video games as a way of building a motivation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  The 2013 competition, sponsored by the Entertainment Software Association, AMD Foundation, Institute of Library and Museum Services, NYC Hive and Microsoft, honors the top original video games and game design concepts across 14 categories.  This year's 16 youth winners' games which were selected from nearly 4000 entries will be recognized as part of the G4C Awards Ceremony.

Games for Change Festival sponsors include, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Gunderson Dettmer and the Schusterman Family Foundation. Additional sponsors include Schell GamesGame Gurus, Susan Crown Exchange, Frima Studio and Kognito. Arcade sponsors include FarmVille 2, co.labGlobal Gaming Initiative, the American Museum of Natural HistoryTiny TapQuest to Learn, BrainQuake, Timbuktu, GlassLab, Kidaptive, Mark Animation and Motion Math. For more information about the Games for Change Awards and to play the games, please visit Tickets to attend the event are currently on sale, and can be purchased online at  

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About Games for Change
Founded in 2004, Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as powerful tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. The organization aims to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good and most recently served as the Executive Producer for the incredibly successful Half the Sky Movement: The Game inspired by the global movement created by Pulitzer-Prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. To further grow the field, Games for Change convenes multiple stakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects.

Media Credentials
Media must be credentialed in order to attend. Please submit the credential form below:

Games for Change:
Damiano DeMonte,
Jacob Taylor,

Tribeca Film Festival:
Tammie Rosen,