Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Tag Archives: Games for Change

Games for Change finalists

Games for Change has announced the finalists for the G4C 2021 Awards. Don’t click the image above to see them, however—instead, you will find descriptions and links to the games at the G4C awards page .

Several of these will be of particular interest to PAxsims readers because they deal with issues of conflict and peacebuilding. These include:

Through the Darkest of Times (Steam)

Berlin 1933. “Adolf Hitler is chancellor!” We all know the consequences this message bore. Unspeakable horrors and suffering would sweep across the world. Few would stand and fight the monstrosity that was the German Reich. Will you? Lead an underground resistance group Through the Darkest of Times.

Suzerain (Steam)

As President Rayne, lead Sordland into ruin or repair during your first term in this text-based role-playing game. Navigate a political drama driven by conversations with your cabinet members and other significant figures. Beware or embrace corruption; shirk or uphold ideals. How will you lead?

Harmony Square (browser)

Harmony Square is a game about fake news. The game’s setting is the idyllic Harmony Square, a small neighborhood mildly obsessed with democracy. You, the player, are hired as Chief Disinformation Officer. Over the course of 4 short levels, your job is to disturb the square’s peace and quiet by fomenting internal divisions and pitting its residents against each other.

Radio General (Steam)

Radio General is a unique strategy game where you interact with your units over the radio using speech recognition. Test your mettle and relive famous battles as a WW2 general.

G4C: Games as essential tools for pandemic planning and response

Games for Change have posted a video of their recent online panel on Winning Against Pandemics: Games as Essential Tools for Planning and Response, featuring Francesco Cavallari (Video Games Without Borders), Noah Falstein (The Inspiracy), Seth Cooper (Northeastern University), Rhiju Das (Stanford University), chaired by Russell Schilling.

For other resources, see the PAXsims COVID-19 serious game resource page.

Simulation miscellany, 27 March 2014


Some recent conflict simulation and serious games items that may be of interest to PAXsims readers:

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G4C11The eight finalists for the 2014 Games for Change Awards have been now been selected. The winner will be announced at this year’s Games for Change Festival in New York, 22-24/26 April 2014.

This year G4C will be partnered with the Tribeca Film Festival. As USA Today reported back in January:

In the clearest indication yet that video games are growing well beyond their roots as amusements built on coin boxes and hand-eye coordination, the 11th annual Games for Change (G4C) Festival this spring will take place as part of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, where it will host a family-friendly gaming arcade in lower Manhattan.

“For me it’s a huge leap because it means that for the first time we’re bringing Games for Change … to the real person on the street,” says Asi Burak,the games festival’s president.

G4C is perhaps the biggest player in the growing “serious games” movement, which uses digital games and simulations for health, education, training and social change, among other uses. The festival last year produced Half The Sky Movement: The Game, a Facebook game based on Half the Sky, the 2009 book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn about the worldwide oppression of women.

Craig Hatkoff, co-founder of the film festival, says Tribeca is paying attention to “the transformative power of gaming” that goes beyond traditional entertainment. He wants the combined event to bring together “the most cutting-edge creators of games, educators, and the world’s greatest story-tellers.”

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GAMEONGAMEON’2014 will be held 9-11 September 2014 at the University of Lincoln, UK:

The aim of the 15th annual European GAMEON® Conference (GAMEON®’2014) on Simulation and AI in Computer Games, is to bring together researchers and games people in order to exchange ideas on programming and programming techniques, which will be beneficial to the gaming industry and academia. Secondly it aims to steer young people into this industry by providing how-to tutorials and giving them the opportunity to show their ideas and demos to the gaming industry. The conference will concentrate mostly on the programming of games, with special emphasis on simulation, AI and fuzzy sets, and physics related computer graphics. Next to that, all of this will be fused in the topic of computer game design in stand-alone and networked games. Software providers will be able to show their latest packages and give hand-on tutorials for the participants.

Companies will also have the opportunity to seek new talent at this unique event.

GAMEON’2014 consists of three core tracks, which cover, Gaming Methodology, Artificial Intelligence and Simulation, while the other tracks cover peripheral technologies closely linked to games design, like 3-D scalability, facial and skeletal animation, 3D in-game animation etc, mobile gaming and gaming applications.

Further details can be found here.

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The Iranian-based International Studies Journal and the United Nations Information Center in Iran are jointly selecting 45 senior advisors, resident diplomats and their dependents, heads of state organizations, NGO representatives, professors of law and International Relations, and post-graduate and graduated students to participate in a Security Council simulation, to be held in Tehran on 18 September 2014:

The Programme

The programme will cover three specific issue areas:

  1. International law and security, peace and human rights;
  2. Simulation methods and Research workshops;
  3. Global and Regional initiatives to protect peace and human rights.


Preparing for a Model United Nations conference can be a very challenging task. One time before the simulation, there will be a pre-conference training workshop for the participants at UNIC-Tehran.


ISJ and UNIC will award a certificate to all participants who successfully fulfill the workshop assignments, research, and exercises.

Admission Requirements

  1.   An accredited degree in law, international relations or a relevant field of study;
  2.  Good command of English or French;
  3.  Two recommendation letters by professors or sponsoring institutions;
  4.  Your recent photograph;
  5.  Letter of application including address, telephone, email and language skills(Persian, English, French);
  6. CV/Resume;
  7. Payment of 120 Euros (for Non Iran resident students) and 200 Euros (for other) upon admission. This fee covers registration, courses, booklet, ISJ quarterly magazines and lunch.

The registration deadline is 10 July 2014. For further information, contact

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We’ve updated our blog post on “Gaming the Crisis in the Ukraine” to include a new matrix game on the situation, designed by Tom Mouat.


Registration now open for G4C 10


Registration is now open for the 10th annual Games for Change Festival, which will be held 17-19 June 2013 in New York. According to the organizers:

New in 2013…

  •  Venue – New World Stages in midtown Manhattan
  • Programming just for game developers
  • More opportunities for developers to demo their games
  • A chance to play games specifically commissioned for the Festival (thanks to an energetic team of students at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center!)
  • Access to the “marketplace” – a hub for service providers and publishers to showcase their latest offerings
  • A sneak peek at games in development
  • Social events (10th Anniversary Reception, Daily Happy Hours)

As always, we also have…

  • Access to thought leaders in gaming and social change
  • 40+ hours of programming
  • Demo Spotlight, Games for Change Awards, Game Arcade
  • As the largest gaming event in New York City, it is the annual destination for those working at the intersection of social impact and games. Watch for news in the coming weeks on some of the programming in collaboration with new partners: the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, the David & Lucille Packard Foundation, and the Tribeca Film Institute.

Our application for speakers, talks, presentations and case studies will go live next week, along with the submission form for the Games for Change Awards.

Games for Change: What are the top 100 games everyone should play?

In cooperation with ESI design, the Games for Change folks are putting together a crowd-sourced list of the 100 top games that everyone should play.

At Games for Change, we use the power and fun of games for social good, but when it comes down to it, we’re just folks who love playing games.

At our Festival each year, Newcomers to gaming ask us, “What should I play to get started?” Some are referring to social impact games, but others just want great gaming recommendations.

Now, Games for Change and ESI Design invite you to answer that question by helping to create “The 100” – a crowdsourced list of the games everyone should play.

Connect with us and nominate your favorite game. Here’s how:

1. SIGN IN – You can use your Facebook, Twitter or other pre-existing accounts. You can also create your own unique login to The 100.

2. NOMINATE a game you think people should play to learn about good  gaming. Any format works, so it can be digital, physical, social, whatever. It can also be about any subject – it doesn’t have to educational, just great to play.

3. VOTE other games up or down to help decide which games make it into the top 100. Voting closes at 5 pm EDT on June 20. Don’t forget to join the discussion about each game you vote on!

To register and vote, click here.

2012 Games for Change Awards nominees

The nominees for the 2012 Games for Change Awards have been announced, in the four categories of most impact, most innovative, best gameplay, and the Knights News Game (games that feature current events, documentary subject matter or infographic news data, or that exist as a news platform to engage individuals and communities). The nominees are:

The End: A game of self-discovery that integrates strategy, puzzles and questions into a world which explores a range of commonly, or less commonly, held views about death.  Developer:  Preloaded, funded by Channel 4 Education (

Family of Heroes: A role-playing training game where families of returning veterans learn skills to manage common challenges in adjusting to post-deployment life including how to connect a veteran experiencing PTSD with support services at the VA.  Developer: Kognito Interactive, funded by Kognito and Veterans Affairs of NY/NJ (

Fibber – A Game About Political Deception: Players engage in a “political strip guessing game” where they are asked to determine whether things said by Obama or Romney are fact or fib, and share their findings.  Developer: (

Nanu Planet: The story of two space explorers who get separated on a planet split in two that serves as an allegory for Korea’s DMZ, de-militarized zone. (“Nanu” is Korean for “divided”).  Developer: JCE, funded by Gyeonggi-do, Gyeonggi Digital Contents Agency, Samsung, JCE (

SPENT: Challenges players to make it through a month with little money and tough decisions.  Developer: McKinney, funded by Urban Ministries of Durham and McKinney (

Unmanned: Play the newest kind of soldier: one who remotely drops bombs on foreign soil during the day, and at night goes home to his family.  Developer: Molleindustria + No Media Kings (

WAY: A two-player, online collaborative game in which anonymous strangers around the world learn to communicate through puppetry.  Developer: CoCo & Co. (

Zamzee: An online rewards platform powered by physical activity. Developer: Zamzee, funded by HopeLab and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (

The winners will be announced at the 2012 Games for Change Festival in New York on June 20.

Call for speakers: 9th annual Games for Change Festival

The 9th Annual Games for Change Festival will be taking place  in New York on 18-20 June 2012, and they have put out a call for speakers and presentations. The submission deadline is February 17 at 11:59 pm EST. Accepted speakers will be notified on March 16, and will receive a complimentary pass to the Festival.

More information on the topics that they are looking for this year (as well as information about their review process) can be found here. The same page also includes a link to the online submission form.

h/t G4C email list

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