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SGS Feature: 'Big Media’s Interest in Social Change Games'

Today's main feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source, on games created for training, health, govern...
Today's main feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source, on games created for training, health, government, military, educational and other uses, concerns a discussion of games aimed at social change brought up at the 2006 Games For Change Conference. In this extract, which was taken from a presentation at the 2006 Games For Change Annual Conference, Tessie Topol, Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs at thinkMTV, and Kate Connally, VP of AddictingGames, describe how a site such as AddictingGames can be used as a powerful vehicle for games for social change, as well as how a non-profit organization could conceivably use such an outlet as a entry point into the market: “Connally pointed out that distribution of the organization’s message in a game would be vastly improved if placed on a site like AddictingGames. A small Flash-based casual game could have low production value but still be a good game. Since AddictingGames launches twelve free online games a week, it has a constant need for games. Scouts actively scour the web looking for games, and users can upload their own games as well. AddictingGames also provides a good way to gauge audience reaction since it watches the numbers carefully to see which games are doing well on the site. For the non-profit organization interested in this route, Connally suggested creating a couple of low-end experimental games to see how they would do, and further expand on the one that does best. She stressed that gameplay was of utmost importance, and that a good message would not be seen in a game with bad gameplay. Humor and simplicity were also noted as advantages. Over time, the group would be able to develop its message through sequels and find ways to involve the audience, such as providing a URL for further information.” You can now read the full Serious Games Source feature on the subject, including more of Topol and Connally's insight into the subject of games for change for the recent conference (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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