A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning
Chapter 13. Games to Change the World
Social impact games are different than educational and serious games: The intent is not necessarily to teach a content area or a skill. As mentioned in Chapter 3, games are built with reward mechanisms. What if game feedback could effect positive change? This genre pushes the medium past childhood toys to cultural artifacts. Designer Jesse Schell refers to the sector as transformational. His studio, Schell Games, moved from creating only entertainment titles to creating both educational and transformational games. I interviewed him in March 2014. To Schell, transformational games are “designed to change a person.” He elaborated:
I like the term better than “serious games,” which is a broken term. I’ve been proselytizing a bit that serious games imply a serious goal: If you are having fun, you’re doing it wrong. I’m from an entertainment background; entertainment is a serious business. From the realm of art or entertainment, saying their work isn’t serious is insulting. The goal isn’t to be serious, but to transform people. Most of the design failings of transformative games happen when they spend too much time on the game’s content, or the information they want to come across, and not enough on how they want to transform a person.
An example of a transformational gaming project is the Half the Sky movement. In the United States, the Facebook game Half the Game was published ← 223 | 224 → to raise Americans’ awareness of international women’s rights. It is based on a documentary that detailed...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.