By Karina Valdes
World leaders in gaming are converging in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, in Oct. for the Games for Change Summit to share their insights on games for social impact. The summit will connect experts in gaming for two days of discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities to globally expand the games for social change arena. Through various programs and non-profits, Lindsay Grace, Knight Chair and director of the MFA in Interactive Media, has been assisting the U.S. Department of State with its initiatives in games for social impact. He will speak at the summit in Abu Dhabi, making this his third trip for this initiative with the other two events taking place in Malaysia and Turkey.
“It’s really wonderful that there are so many simultaneous efforts to strengthen global communities through social impact games. It’s been a dream for all of us leading the field to have global leaders embracing game design and eSports as important, socially relevant activities,” said Grace.
Social impact games are designed to provoke introspection and debate on crucial topics affecting society. Grace has spent his professional career studying and designing these games
On the first day of the summit, Grace is slated to participate in a panel discussion, Exploring How Games Can Change the World, centered around the game design techniques and technologies that he and other panel members have adopted to develop games with a social impact. On day two of the summit, Grace is hosting a workshop, Doing Things with Games: Impact through Play, where he will dive into what makes a game meaningful.
“The workshop is based on my first book, Doing Things with Games-Social Impact through Play, which really helps people in lots of different areas understand how to make engaging, meaningful, and impactful games. From games to improve health, improve media literacy, shape empathies, or even help players solve problems – it’s important to remember that game experiences can be meaningful, high impact media,” said Grace.
The Games for Change Summit takes place Oct. 11-12 in Abu Dhabi. For more information, please visit https://uae.gamesforchange.org/#.