The 2-4 of May 2014, the Game community in Denmark will solve epic challenges in the world

Hi everybody!

I would like to share what we are doing over in Denmark. May 2-4 we are setting up a Game Changer Game Jam, with the purpose of creating games for greater causes. We want to demonstrate that game designers will be the future change agents and architects of mass collaborative systems. Having a very important role in society. And that the potential and power of games can help us tackle some of the biggest challenges the world faces these days. And at the same offer great gameplay that can be profitable viable.

What I would like to ask from you is advice about the cause, suggestions to people to talk to, feedback on the event. We are early in the building of the event and while we wait for our homepage feel free to join our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GameChangerGameJam

Here is the Game Changer Game Jam pitch. Game on!

BACKGROUND
Good games are spaces of possibility where players acquire new skills and become new kinds of people. Today 1 billion people spend more than 7 billion hours weekly, joyfully, solving epic quests. What if there were games that could inspire people to solve real world challenges? How would these games look like and who would create them? We are curious about these questions and have jumped into this project to try to get some answers.

Therefore, inspired by Nordic Game Jam, Good for Nothing and the enthusiasm of gamers we want to invite anyone who find game design interesting to come join this event.

GAME CHANGER GAME JAM
From the 2nd of May to the 4th, Game Changer Game Jam will have its first appearance in the city of Aarhus. At the game jam we will focus on creating games for greater causes, such as fight against cancer, the economical breakdown or the pollution of the ocean. We will gather a community of game designers and social innovators who will engage in epic challenges using the playful mind-set of a gamer. The idea is to present the participants with a social challenge in a framework that will allow them to use game design to interpret that challenge. We want to keep the frames open for the game designers to enjoy and have fun with but let them be aware that we are also dealing with something that matters (in some degree) for all society.

At the end of the Game Jam we aim at creating a continued process for the winning/winner games to secure the creation and support for the on going development/implementation of that solution. We cannot foresee the outcome of the event but we believe that this type of event will create a sea of possibilities that will help inspire the future of games.

WHO SHOULD COME & WHY?
We believe in the strength of the multidisciplinary approach, and would like to invite anyone with a desire and interest in this event so be you game designers, programmers, artists, social entrepreneurs, students or teachers you are all welcome!

The hope is for everyone who participates to get familiar on what it takes to make meaningful games, to network with people who share the same interest and to learn and have fun at the same time.
Our goal is to have at least 100 participants for this event with the intention that it will grow in size and ambition for the events to come.

FINANCE
The fee to enter the Game Jam is going to be 300 kr. including food and a t-shirts.

In the long run, we would like for this to evolve into a financially sustainable entity, but with a non-profit approach. We want to be able to reward people for the work they do, but we don’t want to accumulate a large surplus. Should it ever become the case, such money will be spent on improving future conferences/events as well as supporting similar initiatives.

Dee hock - ”Given the right circumstances, from no more than dreams, determination, and the liberty to try, quite ordinary people consistently do extraordinary things.”

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Robin,

great initiative, I'm Copenhagen-based developer of educational games that are fun to play and would love to attend. 
If you haven't already, you should definitely get in touch with Mathias Poulsen and ask him to promote the idea at his CounterPlay festival: http://www.counterplay.org/
I would also contact anyone on that list involved and promote this event as much as possible if you want to get to 100 participants, there is not much time and not that many people interested or capable.


I often see game jams like this go wrong because people are lacking the proper background knowledge for making good games for purpose and ignore the fact that proper game design is really important (people with an education in game design are necessary to make sure you create something that is innovative and actually fun). Just looking at a TED talk from Jane McGonigal (though she is amazing and her talks are very inspiring) is not a good enough preparation and gamification can be a trap: there are loads of bad gamification titles out there that failed to consider the theory behind it and keep purpose and gameplay separate instead of merging them. Maybe one way to prevent this is by having people give talks about those topics before the jam kicks off - I'd be happy to give one (preferably focused on educational games).
Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Riker

Great initiative!
I can share with you my experience regarding these kind of games for change:
In many games I'm designing, I try to show the player what's his/her personal responsibility to the situation. Since a game is personal experience, it can be very powerful to play with perspectives, and to put the player to play a role in seeing how the problem relates to him personally..

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