2023 Games for Change Festival Award Finalists Announced: Celebrating Innovative Games with Social Impact

The Games for Change Festival, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting games and immersive media that drive positive social impact, has revealed the finalists for its highly anticipated 2023 Games for Change Awards. This year’s award ceremony marks a significant milestone as it returns to an in-person format after a hiatus since 2019. The winners will be announced during the organization’s 20th Annual Festival on July 19th, 2023, at 7:00 pm EDT. With nearly 340 submissions from 37 countries, the festival showcases a diverse array of games that tackle progressive themes such as gender dysphoria, physical rehabilitation, misinformation, climate change, and more.

Celebrating Innovation in Gaming for Good

The Games for Change Awards recognize and honor games that push the boundaries of the medium, demonstrating innovation and creativity while making a positive difference in the world. With the increasing prominence of XR (extended reality) titles and a global pool of talented developers, this year’s award finalists showcase the dynamic growth and immense potential of the games for good space.

Let’s take a closer look at the finalists in each category:

  1. Most Innovative Game:
  • Terra Nil by Free Lives
  • Body of Mine VR by Cameron Kostopoulos
  • Kristine is Not Well by Seeyam Quine
  • Phantom AR by PlayBionic
  1. Best Learning Game:
  • Sago Mini First Words by Sago Sago Inc. & Otsimo
  • Teach Your Monster Number Skills by Teach Your Monster
  • RoboCo by Filament Games
  • Go Nisha Go by Howard Delafield International, LLP
  1. Best Student Game:
  • Wing Wor by AmaVR
  • (val)iant: or, val’s guide to having a broken vag by Cactus Games
  • Identity Crisis by Ammaarah Noormohamed
  • Who’s Lila? by Garage Heathen
  1. Best Civics Game:
  • Spuren auf Papier – Paper Traces – Playing History in collaboration with the Wehnen Memorial Site
  • The Mystery Of Sary-Kol by Scafander Games
  • Cat Park by Tilt
  • Common’hood by Plethora Project
  1. Best XR for Change Experience:
  • Body of Mine VR by Cameron Kostopoulos
  • Kristine is Not Well by Seeyam Quine
  • Phantom AR by PlayBionic
  • Please, Believe Me by Emblematic Group
  1. Best Narrative Game:
  • Gerda: A Flame In Winter by Bird Island (ex-PortaPlay)
  • Endling – Extinction is Forever by Herobeat Studios
  • South of the Circle by State of Play
  • Valiant Hearts: Coming Home by Ubisoft
  1. Best Health Game:
  • First Resort by BehaVR
  • Phantom AR by PlayBionic
  • Kinder World by Lumi Interactive
  • Luna’s Light by ImpactVR
  1. Most Significant Impact:
  • Gerda: A Flame In Winter by Bird Island (ex-PortaPlay)
  • Endling – Extinction is Forever by Herobeat Studios
  • Go Nisha Go by Howard Delafield International, LLP
  • Space for the Unbound by Mojiken Studio
  1. Best Gameplay:
  • The Wandering Village by Stray Fawn Studio
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist by Northway Games
  • SEASON: A letter to the future by Scavengers Studio
  • Beecarbonize by Charles Games

People’s Choice Award

Games nominated in the Best Gameplay, Most Innovative, Most Significant Impact, Best Health, Best Narrative, Best Civics, and Best Learning Game categories are eligible for the coveted “G4C People’s Choice” Award. This special award is determined through online voting from fans and allows the gaming community to have their say in recognizing their favorite games.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award will open to the public in the coming weeks, offering an exciting opportunity for gamers and enthusiasts to support their preferred titles and contribute to the celebration of impactful games.

The Games for Change Festival and Awards are a testament to the transformative power of gaming and immersive media in addressing pressing societal issues. By showcasing the finalists and winners, the festival aims to inspire and encourage game developers to continue pushing the boundaries of the medium and harness its potential for positive change.

The 2023 Games for Change Festival Award finalists represent a diverse and innovative lineup of games that embrace social impact and tackle significant themes. From gender dysphoria to climate change, these games demonstrate the power of gaming to educate, inspire, and drive positive change in society. With the upcoming in-person award ceremony as part of the 20th Annual Festival, the gaming community eagerly awaits the announcement of the winners. Additionally, the People’s Choice Award provides an opportunity for fans to participate in the recognition of outstanding games. As the Games for Change movement continues to grow, these awards serve as a reminder of the incredible potential games hold as a force for good in the world.

Written by
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