Join Us at Games for Change

by Christa Avampato
May 20, 2013

Games for ChangeIf games and learning is a topic that sets your creativity reeling, then block your calendar for June 17—19th and make your way to New York City for the 10th Anniversary Games for Change Festival.  The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop has curated a selection of speakers and panel discussion on a wide range of games & learning topics, ranging from an investigation of Common Core standards and the goals of 21st-century skills development, role-playing in video games that places kids at the great crossroads of history, and weird, fascinating insights into the neuroscience of video game play. From education futurists to game designers, mad learning scientists and kids who are passionate about gaming, you’ll hear a wide variety of perspectives on the future of play and what it means for education and social change.

If you only have one day to spend at the Games for Change Festival, consider Wednesday, June 19th—a day focused on how the use of digital games is changing our nation’s classrooms.  The day kicks off at 9:30 am with a discussion about the investment being made by publishers, scholars and philanthropic leaders to design creative technologies, especially digital games, to be a critical part of the Common Core solution. But will they deliver new breakthroughs or deliver old wine in new bottles? Three of the nation’s leading authorities on innovation in educational technology will join the debate.

From 11am – noon, educators, journalists, and ed-tech investors respond to the morning’s debate, focusing on what users of educational technology and digital games might be looking for in the year 2020.

From 2:00–3:00 pm, there will be a tough decision to make. Will you attend the presentation on the National STEM Video Game Challenge to hear from youth, nonprofit leaders, game developers, and educators about using video game design as a learning tool to engage more youth in science, technology, engineering, art, and math fields? Or will you literally delve into the depths of gaming’s effects on brain development—and how our growing knowledge about brain development affects game design?

G4C - save 15Throughout the Festival, you will get sense of the global social impact of  game-based technology. You’ll hear case studies of how games are helping young Ethiopian girls to create a larger role in society for themselves so their voices can be heard and their concerns can be addressed as well as learn how simulation games increasing sanitation and public health standards in India and Africa and paving the way to better disaster preparedness standards around the world. You’ll hear from esteemed education and gaming professional at the very tops of their fields, as well as start-up and indie developers who are working alongside educators as they create game-based products and services. How are they funded? What is their product development process? How are they faring in the open market? Find out straight from the source! There will also be a game jam, hackathon, game play session, and simulation experiment so that you can roll up your sleeves, open up your mind, and be a part of the ed tech solutions that are shaping young minds.

For a full list of speakers and topics, please view the agenda at http://www.gamesforchange.org/festival2013/program/. And if you use the code “cooney” when you register, you’ll save 15% off the fee.

We’ll see you there!