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Can Games Save the World?

Imagine you are a humanitarian organization. You are trying to make the world a better place. However, you are working within a number of constraints, not one of the least of which is money. You want to get the word out about a cause, to tell people about a crisis and try to make those people help you make things better – be that by donating money, signing a petition, discussing the issue with friends and family or forwarding a link on social media to spread awareness.

With your limited budget, you need to do this as efficiently and effectively as possible. So what are your options?

An interesting new possibility that has gained in popularity in recent years is the concept of games for change – online games developed to persuade its players to support social change. But how well do these games really work? Is it worth all the time and money to create a game or would an article do the job just as well?

In this presentation I will talk about the research I conducted for my masters thesis on the topic of the effectiveness of games for change, the media aspects and the player experiences that underly their impact, and the recommendations following from these findings for how best to create an impactful game for change.