Project FAQ

Q: What is this project?

A: This project seeks a “big picture” frame for social impact games, pursuing coherence and collaboration in designing for impact. We know that the impact of social impact games falls along a spectrum, and want to help the community become aware of the many different types of possible impact. Through a series of reports and community cultivated resources, we aim to facilitate collaboration among different specialties and subgroups within the social impact games community.

Q: Who came up with this project?

A: This project was conceived by Benjamin Stokes and Asi Burak (respectively a Co-founder of Games for Change and the current President of the organization). It began as a side-conversation at the 10th-anniversary G4C Festival in New York City (June 2013). Asi Burak recounts the origin this way:

“I had been running around, filled with the usual mix of adrenaline and stress as the festival hummed and the business cards flew. Then a familiar face took me aside: Benjamin Stokes, who had co-founded G4C a decade prior. Ben proposed how a typology of “game impact” might be needed, and that “now is the perfect timing”. It was a terrific idea, but I suspect that Ben believed it might just be small talk and that nothing would come of it. Three months later, I was thrilled to tell Ben that we had received funding from the Packard Foundation for the project and that the idea would become a reality.”

Q: Why is this project necessary?

A: Games can increase our impact, amplifying how we communicate social injustices, teach players about the world in which they live, change behaviors, alter moods, and much more. Yet social impact games are frequently lumped together, without delineation by intended outcome. Fragmented language and gaps between disciplines limit our ability to leverage prior research.  Connective fabric is needed to bring designers and researchers into more productive collaboration.  By addressing our fragmentation and gaining a big picture view on game “impact types,” we believe the impact of our community as a whole will be revealed — and even accelerate.

Q: Who are you including in the project?

A: Our goal is to bring together community leaders and content experts, as well as aspiring members who are new to the community to share their experience and collaborate on this project.