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Civics & Social Issues [clear filter]
Tuesday, June 18

9:45am EDT

Keynote - Extraordinary Actions Come from Ordinary Ideas
Description: In order for there to be real change in the world, we have to engage and empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things. With the right information and resources, anyone has the capacity to create impact in their community and even around the world. The next step is to bring those people together and create a network for change. Let's talk about how we're making that happen.

avatar for Michael Strautmanis

Michael Strautmanis

Chief Engagement Officer, Obama Foundation
As Chief Engagement Officer, Mike oversees community affairs and strategic partnerships for the Obama Foundation. He engages with local Chicagoans on plans for the Obama Presidential Center and the Foundation’s mission to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 9:45am - 10:15am EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

10:15am EDT

Keynote - Build a Better Gaming Community
As games become more accessible than ever, it's imperative for the gaming communities that support them to follow suit. Join Leo Olebe, Global Director, Games Partnerships at Facebook, as he explores how healthy gaming communities are helping to build community and bring about positive change in the world.

avatar for Leo Olebe

Leo Olebe

Global Games Partnerships, Facebook
Leo leads global games partnerships at Facebook, with teams based in Menlo Park, London and Singapore. A veteran executive with nearly 20 years of experience from management consulting to brand management and strategic partnerships, he has worked on driving strategy, business development... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 10:15am - 10:45am EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

11:15am EDT

How to Talk About Games, Today
In yet another year where video games have been blamed for violence, the World Health Organization included “gaming disorder” in the International Classification of Disease proposed updates, and news media implicated video games as a leading factor in unemployment. How do we talk about the work they do? This fast paced, information-rich collection of mini-talks and Q&A provides attendees with the tools to have a meaningful dialogue about games, evidence of their benefit and the critique of their harm. It exposes the research, politics, and practicalities of the global games community.

avatar for Lindsay Grace

Lindsay Grace

Knight Chair, University of Miami
Lindsay Grace is a Knight Chair at the University of Miami. He was founding director of the American University Game Lab and Studio. His work has been awarded by the Games for Change Festival, the Digital Diversity Network, Black Enterprise and others. He has given talks at the Game... Read More →

avatar for Dr. Mia Consalvo

Dr. Mia Consalvo

Professor, Concordia University
Mia Consalvo is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design at Concordia University in Montreal. She has most recently completed the book Real Games: What's Legitimate and What's Not in Contemporary Videogames, co-written with Christopher A. Paul. Mia runs the... Read More →
avatar for Roger Altizer

Roger Altizer

Director, Therapeutic Games and Apps Lab, Queensland University of Technology
Roger Altizer, Jr. is the co-founder of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering, the Director of Digital Medicine for the Center for Medical Innovation, and the founding Director of The GApp lab (Therapeutic Games and Apps) at the University of Utah. He works in serious and medical... Read More →
avatar for Andy Phelps

Andy Phelps

Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology
Andrew "Andy" Phelps is a professor at the Human Interface Technologies Laboratory NZ (HITLabNZ) within the College of Engineering at the University of Canterbury. He also serves as a Professor of Art & Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He is the founder of the... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
Starr Foundation

12:00pm EDT

Keynote - The Ethics of Video Games
Beyond the regular (and mostly exaggerated) attacks the game industry is getting regarding addiction or violence, it is important for game developers to get a clear understanding of their ethical responsibilities as content providers, especially when designing games with a purpose beyond mere entertainment. This talk proposes to analyze what are the potential problems video games can create, more specifically regarding addiction and dark patterns (without the fear-mongering).

avatar for Celia Hodent

Celia Hodent

Independent Game UX Consultant
Celia Hodent is recognized as a leader in the application of user experience & cognitive science in the game industry. Celia holds a PhD in psychology & has over ten years of experience in the development of UX strategy in game studios, through her work at Ubisoft, LucasArts, and... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 12:00pm - 12:20pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

12:15pm EDT

How to Make Things Fun: From Disaster Preparedness to Transportation Infrastructure, Voter Education to Circular Economies
As game and experience designers, we are often tapped to “make things fun”. While there is no secret recipe, there are key strategies and insights that can lead to excellent design. Based out of IDEO’s Play Lab, Jenny Gottstein works with clients in a wide range of industries to leverage play as a tool for innovation, resilience, engagement and creative problem-solving. She will be sharing case studies and tools for moving beyond points, badges and leaderboards, and turning even the most dry or overwhelming issues into an experience that is memorable, engaging and fun.

avatar for Jenny Gottstein

Jenny Gottstein

Experience Design Lead in the Play Lab, IDEO
Jenny is an Experience Designer in IDEO's Play Lab where she designs products, services, environments, and experiences to be more engaging, sustainable and enjoyable. Recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30 for game design, she is passionate about developing engagement, resilience, and creative solutions through play. When she... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 12:15pm - 12:35pm EDT
Room 105

1:00pm EDT

ETC Presents: Piggy Banksy Live! - A Multiplayer Experience on Art and Provocation
Graduate students at the Entertainment Technology Center from Carnegie Mellon University designed a digital collaborative art experience that encourages players to find their inner provocateur to create the social change they want to see in the world. 

In this experience, players are asked to reflect on why they came to Games For Change in the first place, what social issues they care about discussing, and how to start their own creative revolution through the power of art.

avatar for Zoe Bai

Zoe Bai

UX Designer, Carnegie Mellon University
Zoe is a UX designer, a 3D artist, and a creative coder. She is passionate about serious games, educational games, games for mental health and human-computer interaction. She seeks to bring new technologies such as AR/VR/XR into experience design. She is working at Electronic Arts... Read More →
avatar for Boyi Liu

Boyi Liu

Experience Designer, Carnegie Mellon University
Boyi is an interaction designer and 2D artist from Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center. He is passionate about location-based entertainment and believes that every little detail can make a great impact on the overall user experience. He is working at Tencent... Read More →
avatar for Tera Nguyen

Tera Nguyen

Product Manager / Producer, Carnegie Mellon University
Tera Nguyen is a product manager and creative producer for games and interactive experiences. Tera has 5 years of experience working with interdisciplinary teams to define use cases, success metrics and development processes for high-tech products that use Virtual Reality, Augmented... Read More →
avatar for Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee

Co-Producer, Carnegie Mellon University
Kevin is the co-producer, game designer, and writer on the ETC Paradigm team, specializing in unique interactions on video games. He is also an animator, musician/producer, and street dancer interested in the intersection of the arts and technology.
avatar for Mingqi Tan

Mingqi Tan

Programmer, Carnegie Mellon University
Currently, I am working a grad student at Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center. Previously, I was a Computer Science student at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
avatar for Saumya Lahera

Saumya Lahera

Programmer - (GPUSW), Carnegie Mellon University
Saumya Lahera has a background in software engineering, Apple Frameworks, and has specific interests in GPU APIs, Frameworks and Application Development.

Tuesday June 18, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
Starr Foundation

2:00pm EDT

Keynote - Doing Well While Doing Good: Responsible Practices for the Mass Market
Commentators and other observers of the games industry often distinguish between “socially responsible” games and “commercial” ones. In fact, some of the most popular games have been both: commercial successes that promote good social values. Come to this speech to hear about decisions made and lessons learned during 11 years at the heart of one of the most successful franchises in entertainment.

avatar for Don McGowan

Don McGowan

Chief Legal Officer and Business Affairs, Pokémon Company International
Don McGowan is the Chief Legal Officer and Business Affairs of The Pokémon Company International, Inc. (TPCi), where he has been since August 2008. Among other things, in that role McGowan has spearheaded the launch of “Pokémon GO” (including TPCi’s investment into its developer... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

2:45pm EDT

Games as a Civil Rights Issue
65% of American households have someone in them that plays games for three hours a week or more. The game industry is larger than film and music combined. Despite this, there are significant problems with hate and harassment in games, game culture and the game community. This talk will discuss efforts by the Anti-Defamation League to understand and address the problem of hate in games through a variety of interdisciplinary approaches.

avatar for Daniel Kelley

Daniel Kelley

Associate Director, Center for Technology and Society, Anti-Defamation League
Daniel Kelley (he/him/his) is the Associate Director of ADL’s Center for Technology and Society (CTS). Daniel manages operations and project management for CTS, and leads CTS’ work to fight hate, bias and harassment in the game community. Daniel was named one of NY Jewish Week’s... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 2:45pm - 3:05pm EDT
Room 105

3:15pm EDT

Your Game Could Be a PSA!
Recognizing that millions of Americans love to play video games, the Ad Council partnered with Square Enix to create its first PSA made from gaming footage. The partnership used scenes from the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III game to promote bullying prevention. The Ad Council will share a case study from this partnership including tips for creating PSAs from your own games.

avatar for Anastasia Goodstein

Anastasia Goodstein

SVP, Digital Product Management, The Ad Council
Anastasia serves as Senior Vice President of the Advertising Council’s Digital Product Management group where she manages the team in charge of digital products for all Ad Council campaigns. Prior to joining the Ad Council, she lead the product development and marketing for the... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 3:15pm - 3:35pm EDT
Room 105

3:45pm EDT

Putting Games to Work in City Government
In 2018, the City of Portland, ME set out to create a game by, with and for new immigrants and refugees in the city. Over the course of four months, designers worked with the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity and its city-wide advisory council to identify needs, refine learning objectives and design a game to be played by English language learners to discover resources in the city and to provide input. This discussion focuses on the challenges of building new tech, socializing the idea of a game, and creating ownership to assure a project’s sustainability. 

avatar for Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

Professor, Engagment Lab at Emerson College
Eric Gordon is a professor of civic media and the director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson College in Boston. His research focuses on building better interfaces between publics and civic organizations in a context of diminishing trust. He has co-designed interventions for large and... Read More →
avatar for Julia Trujillo Luengo

Julia Trujillo Luengo

Director, Office of Economic Opportunity
Julia Trujillo runs the City of Portland's Office of Economic Opportunity. The Office is the first of its kind in Maine whose vision is to foster a strong sense of belonging in all aspects of city life for everyone who calls Portland their home. Portland recently released a City Wide... Read More →
avatar for Justin Warren

Justin Warren

Media Design Recruiter, Emerson College
Justin Warren is a game designer and play researcher based in Boston. He received his MA in Civic Media from Emerson College in 2018, and currently works as a Recruiter for the program. His thesis focused on designing an online educational game for immigrants and refugees in collaboration... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 3:45pm - 4:05pm EDT
Room 105

4:15pm EDT

Public Screens and Games Embedded in Physical Space: The Rise of Maker Games
In cities and neighborhoods, a new kind of game design is emerging. The digital and physical are coming together, from hybrid playgrounds to embedded screens at bus stops. Games were not the original goal. But as millions of youth learn to program Raspberry Pis ($50 each), and escape rooms can be created with DIY (Do-It-Yourself) kits, the movement is growing – and without headsets. In this provocation, you’ll hear how the future of mixed reality does NOT use consumer devices – but rather is embedded in public space and physical objects, strengthening neighborhoods from Mexico City to Los Angeles.

avatar for Benjamin Stokes

Benjamin Stokes

Assistant Professor, American University Game Lab
Benjamin Stokes is an assistant professor at American University, affiliated with the AU Game Lab. His designs for cities have introduced neighbors, retold local history, and rebuilt payphones. Previously, Benjamin worked at the MacArthur Foundation as a program officer in their portfolio... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 4:15pm - 4:35pm EDT
Room 104

4:45pm EDT

The Great Cognitive Depression (and the Rise of the Miyagi Movement)
Companies are strip mining our cognition in their quest to hold our attention. But it’s not an infinite resource and those organizations don’t price the destruction of cognition into their cost of doing business. They have every incentive to continue the destruction. But we lose our ability to make rational decisions at work and as citizens, to take on the many complex extinction level challenges society now faces.

When the art and science of decision-making itself collapses might we face a Great Cognitive Depression?

We’ll explore playful ways to use games and AI to build cognition and cancel biases.

avatar for Mickey McManus

Mickey McManus

Fellow, Office of the CTO, Autodesk
Mickey McManus is a visiting research fellow at Autodesk’s Office of the CTO and a Senior Advisor to BCG. He is a pioneer in pervasive computing, collaborative human/machine innovation, human-centered design and education. Mickey holds 13 patents in the area of connected products... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 4:45pm - 5:05pm EDT
Room 104

4:45pm EDT

Non-Profits Doing Good for Games
avatar for Lucien Parsons

Lucien Parsons

Chairman/Interim Exec Dir, International Game Developers Association
Lucien is the Chairman of the IGDA and has worked in video games and AR/VR for the last 15 years. He runs MAVRIC (the Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center) at the University of Maryland and is interim ED for IGDA. He was a founder of Zenimax Online Studios, maker of Elder... Read More →

avatar for Gordon Bellamy

Gordon Bellamy

CEO, University of Southern California
Gordon teaches at USC Games, serves as head of the USC Bridge incubator and USC esports faculty advisor. He has played key business and product leadership roles at Tencent, Electronic Arts, as a designer on Madden NFL Football, and MTV.Gordon serves as the president / CEO of the Gay... Read More →
avatar for Susan Gold

Susan Gold

Interim Director, Founder, The Global Game Jam
Susan Gold, an American scholar with a 20 year academic career and positive social impact.  Susan created the Global Game Jam, a hackathon for games that has transformed the lives of game developers in over 113 countries. She's a proven leader, facilitator and activist trying to... Read More →
avatar for Meggan Scavio

Meggan Scavio

President, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Foundation
As the AIAS President, Scavio promotes, advances and recognizes the outstanding achievements in the interactive entertainment industry worldwide. She oversees the AIAS’ many initiatives benefiting the video games industry: the D.I.C.E. Summit – the industry’s premier gathering... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 4:45pm - 5:30pm EDT
Starr Foundation

5:30pm EDT

Keynote - Change Begins with Me
Join Leslie and she takes you through some deeply personal experiences that ultimately inspired her commitment to diversity.  Listen to how she manifested her vision of an equitable work culture, as well as an inclusive gaming community. Learn how you too can “turn up your brightness” and make a positive social impact.

avatar for Leslie Pirritano

Leslie Pirritano

Your Best Friend, AMD
Leslie Pirritano has been in various gamer and VR-related roles over the past 15 years and is officially credited as Your Best Friend at AMD. She actively works to promote diversity within the gaming and virtual reality communities and specializes in developer relations. Her role... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 5:30pm - 6:00pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium
Wednesday, June 19

9:45am EDT

Keynote - Games Are Not Good For You
We live in what feel like particularly political times. We all want games that will change things. But are we really making the games that will impact the world? In this critical (and self-critical) talk, Eric will look at some of the pitfalls of "serious games" - and offer new models for thinking about how games can interact with spaces outside of themselves.

avatar for Eric Zimmerman

Eric Zimmerman

Game Designer & Professor, NYU
Eric Zimmerman has been working as a game designer for more than 25 years. He was a co-founder with Peter Lee of the award-winning game studio Gamelab. In recent years, Eric has created game installations with architect Nathalie Pozzi for museums including the Museum of Modern Art... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 9:45am - 10:15am EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

11:15am EDT

Project Briefs: New Approaches
In this series of project briefs we’ll learn about four new ways of seeing impactful games in citizen journalism, in anti-bias training, play testing with grant stakeholders, and how to look back at a game that criticizes the idea of games for change itself.

Eric Espig
Citizen Journalism in the Middle East: a VR Game by VGA Gallery and Media Majlis 

Karina Popp
Games Changed: A Postmortem

Anna Feigenbaum
Playtesting for Social Justice: Ten Takeaways from Developing RiotID: The Board Game

Karen Schrier
A New Approach to Bias Training: Developing Perspective-Taking and Empathy through Game Jams

avatar for Anna Feigenbaum

Anna Feigenbaum

Senior Lecturer in Digital Storytelling, Bournemouth University
Anna Feigenbaum is a writer, teacher and public speaker. She has lead over 50 international workshops on social justice and design. She is a co-author of Protest Camps (Zed 2013) and the author of Tear Gas (Verso 2017). Her writing can be found in The Guardian, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Karen Schrier

Dr. Karen Schrier

Associate Professor & Director of Games, Marist College
Dr. Karen Schrier is Associate Professor/Director of Games at Marist College. Prior, she worked at Scholastic, Nickelodeon, and BrainPOP. She’s been researching and designing games for 15+ years, making one of the first AR games. She’s the editor of the Learning, Education & Games... Read More →
avatar for Eric Espig

Eric Espig

Digital Media Specialist, Northwestern University in Qatar
Eric Espig designs and produces interactive exhibitions for museums. Currently working in Doha, Qatar for Northwestern University he has in the past worked at the Canadian Museum of History as head of digital projects and as digital manager and content developer with the Royal British... Read More →
avatar for Karina Popp

Karina Popp

Freelance Designer & Instructor
Karina is a person living, making game-things, and teaching game-things in New York. She recently finished the Nuovo-nominated 10 Mississippi, a stop motion photography game about intimacy and banality. She made games for Sesame Workshop, presented games at festivals such as Come... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 11:15am - 12:05pm EDT
Starr Foundation

11:45am EDT

Making a True, Sad Story Playable Through Character Development
We know immersion creates empathy. But how can you get players to engage voluntarily with a sad game about child abuse? Elin Festøy, creative producer of the award-winning mobile game "My Child Lebensborn", talks about the importance of character development to reach out to younger players.

avatar for Elin Festøy

Elin Festøy

Producer & CEO, Teknopilot AS
Elin Festøy is an artistic research fellow at The Norwegian Film School and a creative, interactive producer with her own, personal production company Teknopilot AS. Her latest productions include the award winning mobile game "My Child Lebensborn" and "The voice from the forest... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 11:45am - 12:05pm EDT
Room 105

11:45am EDT

Playing for the Planet: How Video Games Can Deliver for People and the Environment
How can the fastest growing media platform in the world be harnessed to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the urgent global needs they represent? Is your game company about to change the world – literally? With input from over 50 games industry leaders, the 2019 United Nations Environment report “Playing for the Planet” summarizes recent developments to yield seven key recommendations on how the video games industry can achieve tangible, real-world impact for the issues and people who need it most. Discover how you can empower your game, your company and your players, and add your voice to a groundbreaking UN event. https://playing4theplanet.org

avatar for Trista Patterson

Trista Patterson

NewMedia Lab Director, GRID-Arendal / UN Environment Collaboration Center
Dr. Trista Patterson is lead author of the UN Environment report "Playing For the Planet". She directs the NewMedia Lab at GRID-Arendal, a UN Environment Collaboration Centre in Norway, where global-scale experiments test emerging technologies (video game, AR/VR, interactive forums... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 11:45am - 12:05pm EDT
Room 104

12:15pm EDT

Endless: Creating Digital Agency through Gaming
I love building technology that can cultivate a generation of creators. I founded Endless, an independent collection of companies and initiatives focused on unlocking the untapped potential in youth.

Endless’ initial focus was to make computing universally accessible for everyone. We started by building software to solve internet connectivity for kids in the developing world. Endless OS, our flagship product, is a fully functional operating system that works on any form of internet connection.
Today, Endless is taking this a step further to empower a generation of kids, in the US and elsewhere, to shape their technology rather than being shaped by it. Endless is doing this through three initiatives: Hack harnesses Endless OS to embed coding education into the heart of an operating system. The Third Terminal is a collection of coding-based games that focus on inspire delight. Finally, The Endless Mission is a sandbox-style Steam game that takes players on a journey to a world where nothing is as it seems and the power to reshape the game itself sits at the tips of their fingers. All of this, to shape your games and, through it, your world.

I discovered my passion for building organizations of consequence when I founded the China Care Foundation at the age of 16 to offer orphaned children a brighter future. China Care has since raised over $14 million to provide surgeries, foster placements and adoptions for thousands of special needs children, as well as spawning dozens of campus clubs. For this work, I've been honored as one of Oprah Winfrey’s “People Changing the Lives of Children Around the World”, as one of Teen People’s “20 Teens Who Will Change the World,” and the youngest recipient of the Fulbright Award. All of this was set in motion by living in China with a family at the age of 11. That year in China changed my life more than anything, setting me on the course that has landed me here today.

I am a graduate of Harvard College (‘06) and Stanford Business School (‘12).

avatar for Matt Dalio

Matt Dalio

Founder, Endless
I love building technology that can cultivate a generation of creators. I founded Endless, an independent collection of companies and initiatives focused on unlocking the untapped potential in youth.Endless’ initial focus was to make computing universally accessible for everyone... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 12:15pm - 12:35pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

12:15pm EDT

Well Played: Ndemic Creations
Join us for a close examination of two landmark works from Ndemic Creations: Plague Inc and Rebel Inc, games that simulate complex processes (the spread of epidemics and insurgency in an invaded country) to evoke play, exploration and edification. Naomi Clark will play and discuss Ndemic's work, joined by James Vaughan of Ndemic for a discussion.

avatar for Naomi Clark

Naomi Clark

Assistant Arts Professor / Co-Chair, NYU
Over the last twenty years, Naomi Clark has designed, written for and produced games for a variety of platforms and audiences, contributing to a few dozen projects so far. She's the co-author of a textbook titled A Game Design Vocabulary and teaches on the faculty of the NYU Game... Read More →
avatar for James Vaughan

James Vaughan

CEO & Founder, Ndemic Creations
James is the creator of Plague Inc. - a global hit with over 120 million players and one of the top five most successful paid mobile games ever.Originally a hobby, Plague Inc. has consistently remained at the top of the charts since 2012 and James was even invited to the CDC to talk... Read More →
avatar for Drew Davidson

Drew Davidson

Director, ETC @ CMU
Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories and transformational experiences across texts, comics, games and other media. He explores the art, design and science... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 12:15pm - 12:45pm EDT
Starr Foundation

2:00pm EDT

Fireside Chat: Stan Pierre-Louis and Yannis Mallat
avatar for Stan Pierre-Louis

Stan Pierre-Louis

President & CEO, Entertainment Software Association
Stanley Pierre-Louis is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the voice and advocate for the $43.4 billion U.S. video game industry. With more than two decades of entertainment and media experience, Mr. Pierre-Louis leads ESA’s public... Read More →
avatar for Yannis Mallat

Yannis Mallat

CEO, Ubisoft Canadian Studios
Yannis Mallat joins Ubisoft Montreal in 2000. He quickly makes his mark in the industry as the producer of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Released in 2003, the game is a resounding critical and commercial success, and allows the Montreal studio to establish itself as one of... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

2:30pm EDT

Promoting Sex-Positivity Through Analog Games
Sex is rarely discussed with depth in the mainstream gaming world. Analog games are uniquely positioned to explore this topic by leveraging embodied, participatory frameworks, and physicality. With a focus on queer sexualities, we will delve into how analog games can discuss sex effectively and safely. We will also touch on a new book of erotic art games co-created by Sharang Biswas and Lucian Kahn, with a grant from the Effing Foundation.

avatar for Sharang Biswas

Sharang Biswas

Independent Game Designer, Writer, & Artist
Sharang Biswas is a writer, award-winning game designer, and internationally exhibited artist based in NYC. His Indiecade-award winning game Feast was recently shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and his writing has appeared in publications such as Kill Screen... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 2:30pm - 2:50pm EDT
Room 105

2:30pm EDT

Keynote - Games for Countering Climate Change
Christine Harada is President of i(x) investments. Ms. Harada has over 20 years of success in leading government and management consulting organizations. She previously served as the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer for the United States during the Obama administration. In this role, she provided oversight for all sustainability-related initiatives across the federal government in energy, fleet, and acquisitions-game-changing improvements that added to our nation’s clean energy future.

Her successes include reducing the Federal government’s carbon footprint resulting in 18% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 23% reduction in energy use at Federal facilities and 177 billion gallons of water saved. 

avatar for Christine Harada

Christine Harada

President, i(x) investments
Christine Harada is President of i(x) investments. Ms. Harada has over 20 years of success in leading government and management consulting organizations. She previously served as the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer for the United States during the Obama administration. In this... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 2:30pm - 3:00pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

3:00pm EDT

Keynote - This is Not a Game: Creating Civic Engagement on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
For the 2018 midterms, the Samantha Bee team decided that they wanted to raise civic engagement. Turning to Gamification, the team built This is Not a Game: The Game, driving hundreds of thousands of people to participate in the midterms.

This project addressed many of the thorniest issues in building a game for change in civic participation. Join this session for a behind the scenes look at what worked, what didn't and why.

avatar for Gabe Zichermann

Gabe Zichermann

CEO, Failosophy
Gabe Zichermann is an entrepreneur, author, public speaker, mentor and teacher who is best-known for his work in Gamification. His new project, Failosophy, distills the lessons of individuals and organizations that have learned to fail fast, fail better and fail more often to achieve... Read More →
avatar for Razan Ghalayini

Razan Ghalayini

Producer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Razan Ghalayini is a Senior Field Producer and Segment Director at Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.  In addition to writing and directing over 20 field pieces for the show, Razan produced This Is Not A Game: The Game.Prior to working at Full Frontal, Ghalayini had two films premiere... Read More →
avatar for Adam Werbach

Adam Werbach

CEO, Planet 10B
Werbach works between the spaces of technology and politics, serving as product manager for Samantha Bee's This is Not a Game: The Game. He formerly served as National President of the Sierra Club, and as the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S. He recently co-founded Yerdle, which powers... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:20pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

3:15pm EDT

Games for Impact: Fostering the Games for Change Movement in Poland
The makers of Games for Impact and Digital Cultures, two annual events held in Warsaw, will share their experience of trying to break industry barriers, jumpstart the local games-for-change community in Poland and foster international exchange. They will be joined onstage by three Polish up-and-coming developers, who will share their experience working on three diverse games, which tackle issues ranging from social inequality to children’s health.

avatar for Matt Parker

Matt Parker

New Media Artist / Game Designer / Professor of the Arts, NYU Game Center
Matt Parker is a new media artist and game designer. He is a Professor of the Arts at the NYU Game Center and his work has been displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Academy of Music,the New Zealand Festival, Princeton’s Lewis Complex for the Arts, SIGGRAPH... Read More →

avatar for Anna Szylar

Anna Szylar

Digital Cultures Program Manager, Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Manager of the Digital Cultures program at the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, a state institution that aims to promote Polish culture abroad.
avatar for Jakub Zgierski

Jakub Zgierski

Coordinator of Games for Impact Warsaw, FINA (National Film Archive–Audiovisual Institute, Poland)
Coordinator and curator of Games for Impact festival in Warsaw, Poland – a space for social innovators and game developers from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. Since 2015, Jakub is part of the programming team at FINA, a Polish cultural institution based in Warsaw, with a... Read More →
avatar for Agnieszka Mulak

Agnieszka Mulak

PhD Student, Warsaw University / MoaCube (Game Developer Studio)
PhD student at Institute for Social Studies at Warsaw University. Writer and story designer at MoaCube, indie game development studio. A PhD student researching social impact of video games. Writer and story designer at a small indie dev studio. Determined to make her games - and... Read More →
avatar for Jan Cieślar

Jan Cieślar

Founder, Failcore
Before starting his subversive games company Failcore, Jan Cieślar spent 10 years as a advertising creative, making viral award-winning campaign both for the Fortune 500 companies and charities. He has a vast communication experience including hundreds of business pitches, dozens... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 3:15pm - 4:00pm EDT
Room 105

3:45pm EDT

Living the Life of a Refugee: Games and VR for Change
In the last few years, games and VR for change have encouraged support, sympathy, and action for a variety of migration and refugee issues. In this talk, I analyze and compare the virtual reality installation Carne y Arena (Iñárritu 2017) and the digital game The Migrant Trail (Gigantic Mechanic 2014), as part of the multimedia project The Undocumented (Williams 2013). I will show how both digital media examples use semi-fictionalized ethnographies to allow their users to thoroughly experience a fragment of Mexican and Central American refugees’ and migrant’s personal journeys and life stories.

avatar for Joost Raessens

Joost Raessens

Full Professor and Chair of Media Theory, Utrecht Center for Game Research, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Prof. Joost Raessens holds the chair of Media Theory at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His research concerns the ‘ludification of culture,’ focusing in particular on games and VR for change in relation to global issues such as climate change, and refugees and migration... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 3:45pm - 4:05pm EDT
Room 104

4:15pm EDT

Project Briefs: What Can We Learn About...
In this series of project briefs we’ll learn about the dark topics personal trauma, digital privacy, drugs, crime and the apocalypse.

Emperatriz Ung, Independent Game Designer
Depicting Trauma in Games: An Autobiographical Take

Charli Battersby, Writer
How We Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb

Jennifer Dalsen, UX Researcher, Facebook
Digital Privacy in Games: What Students Are Learning

Julia Pilgrim
Gaming for Justice

avatar for Julia Pilgrim

Julia Pilgrim

Education for Justice (E4J) Team Leader, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Ms. Julia Pilgrim is the Team Leader of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. Ms. Pilgrim has previously held the position of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer with UNODC’s Corruption and Economic Crime Branch. Ms... Read More →
avatar for Emperatriz Ung

Emperatriz Ung

Independent Game Designer
Emperatriz Ung is a Chinese-Colombian game designer & writer from the American Southwest. Her creative work predominantly explores personal struggles with mental health, teen motherhood, and generational trauma. She earned her BA in English from the University of New Mexico, and her... Read More →
avatar for Charli Battersby

Charli Battersby

Charles [Charli] Battersby is a game designer, playwright, screenwriter, actor, and journalist. Charli has written about video games for publications including Chelsea Now, Geek.com, Venturebeat, NYC Community Media, Complex, and Joystiq. Battersby founded the organization PressXY... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Dalsen

Jennifer Dalsen

UX Researcher, UW-Madison
Jennifer Dalsen is UX Researcher at Facebook and a PhD graduate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her prior experience includes harnessing qualitative and quantitative data streams to better understand player behavior at Electronic Arts (EA), Gear Learning, and Games+Learning+Society... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 4:15pm - 5:05pm EDT
Room 105

6:00pm EDT

Keynote - 0 to 120 Million: Infecting the World with Games That Make You Think
Plague Inc. and Rebel Inc. have over 120 million players. Our games deal with serious and complex topics yet they are also extremely commercially successful. In this talk, I'll share our story and identify the key lessons learnt from our journey so far as well as highlighting differences between Plague Inc. and Rebel Inc.
I hope to stimulate thinking about how to combine educational/social impact games with fun, commercially successful games!

avatar for James Vaughan

James Vaughan

CEO & Founder, Ndemic Creations
James is the creator of Plague Inc. - a global hit with over 120 million players and one of the top five most successful paid mobile games ever.Originally a hobby, Plague Inc. has consistently remained at the top of the charts since 2012 and James was even invited to the CDC to talk... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 6:00pm - 6:30pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium
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