Lindsay Grace, associate professor and Knight Chair in Interactive Media, is the recipient of this year’s Games for Change Festival Vanguard Award. The highly prestigious award recognizes the contributions of an individual to the field of play-based learning and advancing the Games for Change community. Games for change are digital games developed to highlight a multitude of global issues and to encourage social change. 

“Winning this award is an honor. I’m elated to be recognized for my work in the social impact space and to be listed among past awardees like Constance Steinkuehler and James Gee,” said Grace.

For Grace, an award-winning game designer, the motivating factor for creating games for change “has always been pro-social.”

“I feel it’s everyone’s responsibility to make life better for the next generations,” said Grace. “As the world of media becomes more rich, our strategies for engaging audiences need to do so too, and games feel like the right solution.”

Grace is the sole developer and designer behind Critical Gameplay and Mindtoggle Games. He is the vice president of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance which focuses on increasing access to game-making and education globally. Among his numerous accolades, Grace has received recognition from the Digital Diversity Network, the Association of Computing Machinery’s digital arts community, and Black Enterprise. His work has exhibited internationally in Paris, Sao Paulo, Chicago, and other cities worldwide. He was also the founding director of the American University Game Lab and Studio. His latest book, Doing Things with Games: Social Impact through Design, is set for release July 2019.

The Games for Change awards are held annually and celebrate the year’s best social impact and learning games. This year’s ceremony was on June 18 in New York City where Grace receive the award and also moderated a conversation called How to Talk About Games, Today.