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Games For Change expands student game dev contest about real-world issues

The Games For Change organization is preparing to host its second Student Challenge next year in more cities, with more resources and more programs to help kids make games about real-world issues.

After a successful debut in New York City earlier this year, the Games For Change organization is preparing to host its second Student Challenge next year in more cities, with more resources and more programs to help kids make games about real-world issues.

This represents a successful collaboration between the folks at G4C, the program's sponsors, and teachers in the cities where the second Student Challenge will take place: New York City, Dallas and Pittsburgh. For game devs, it also presents an opportunity to get involved as a teacher, a mentor, or -- if you're young enough -- as a student participant.

Student Challenge partners will reportedly offer training, support and expertise in each city to help students in public middle school or public high school create games about the following three themes:

  • Local Stories & Immigrant Voices: Games that explore the unique history of local immigrant experiences through the lens of the student’s own experience;
  • Climate Change: Games that explore the local effects of climate change, and aim to raise awareness and change the behavior of people in each city;
  • Future Communities: Games about how smart technologies and infrastructure can improve urban life and empower citizens, with participation from the city governments in NYC, Dallas, and Pittsburgh.

Participants can work alone or in groups of up to four on their entries, which are expected to be collected next spring. Those entries will be evaluated by a jury of yet-unnamed game devs, civic leaders, and "social innovators", with the winners selected in May of next year.

Students who win will be honored at an awards ceremony, and their potential prizes include "career development opportunties" like internships and invites to shadow devs at work. Also, three "Grand Prize" winners will be flown to New York City and invited up to the stage at next year's Games for Change festival.

Developers curious to learn more (and potentially get involved) can do so via the Games For Change Student Challenge website.

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