Games For Change Festival Announces its Awards Finalis

Games For Change revealed the finalists for the 2019 Games For Change Awards, which will be presented on June 18, 2019 at the 16th annual G4C Festival. Games for Change also announced that it will present Ubisoft with its inaugural Games for Change Industry Leadership Award for the studio's long track record of developing games and initiatives for education and social good.

The Games for Change Awards ceremony will be hosted Brent Bushnell, CEO of Two Bit Circus. The ceremony will hand out awards in eight categories, including the two new categories Best Student Game and Best XR For Change Experience along with the existing categories: Best Gameplay, Most Innovative, Most Significant Impact and Best Learning Game.

Games For Change Festival Announces its Awards Finalists

"Each year our award finalists exemplify our organization's values at the highest level," said Susanna Pollack, President of G4C. "But this year is especially gratifying with not only the addition of the two new categories but our first opportunity to put the spotlight on an industry-wide contributor in Ubisoft."

"We believe that being a good corporate citizen is as important as being a creator of high-quality game experiences," said Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal. "We're grateful to be recognized by Games for Change and will continue to not only support the important research in which we're involved but also look for opportunities to gear aspects of our games to broader social constructs."

In addition to the Industry Leadership Award, last year's Vanguard Award Winner, Katie Salen (University of California, Irvine; Chief Designer and co-founder of Connected Camps and founding Executive Director of the Institute of Play) will present Lindsay Grace (University of Miami Professor and Vice President of High Education Video Game Alliance) with this year's honor.

All of the game nominees will be considered for the top honor of Game of the Year, which is awarded to the game that best exemplifies all categories. The Games for Change People's Choice Award, which invites the public to vote for their choice Game of the Year, will be featured on Facebook for the first time.

Voting will take place here and will be live from May 29, 2019 to June 10, 2019.

The 2019 Games for Change Awards finalists are as follows:

Best Student Game

  • Prism (Developed by Yidi Zhu, Dan Wolpow, Ridima Ramesh, Yutian Zheng, and Xueyang Wang)
    • Prism helps neurotypical children aged 8 to 10 empathize with their peers who have autism. It is a digital game for the children to play, paired with a discussion framework for instructors that takes the children through the game and how it relates to their everyday lives.
  • Healing Spaces (Developed by Gabriela Purri R. Gomes)
    • Healing Spaces combines both digital and physical components to transform spaces and create a sense of place through sight, touch, smell and sound, transporting older adults with advanced dementia and their caregivers to restorative environments where they can reconnect, find respite and heal.
  • Rayha's Poem (Developed by The Rayha's Poem Team)
    • A young girl leaps across boundaries both social and supernatural to find herself, her mother, and the fabled land of freedom her mother spoke of.
  • In Loving Memory (Developed by Isaac Lim)
    • In Loving Memory is a poetic experience that follows a young girl through her journey through loss and acceptance, while trapped in her own fantasy world to cope with grief.

Best Gameplay

  • The Stillness of the Wind (Developed by Coyan Cardenas, Memory of God)
    • One by one, everyone left the village for the city. Everyone, except Talma. Approaching her final years, she maintains a simple way of life tending to her homestead, surviving, subsisting, whilst increasingly disturbing letters arrive from her family in the city.
  • Detroit: Become Human (Developed by Quantic Dream)
    • Detroit, 2038. Technology has evolved to a point where human like androids are everywhere. They have become a tireless force at the service of humanity. Some of them "awake", and start questioning their place in society. You will embody three of them, in their quest for freedom…and humanity.
  • GRIS (Developed by Nomada Studio)
    • Gris is a hopeful young girl lost in her own world, dealing with a painful experience in her life. Her journey through sorrow is manifested in her dress, which grants new abilities to better navigate her faded reality. Gris will grow emotionally and see her world in a different way.
  • Florence (Developed by Mountains)
    • Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and heartbreaking lows of a young woman's first love.

Most Innovative

  • Tendar (Developed by Tendar Claws)
    • A humorous and provocative AR game that combines interactive storytelling, AR, sentiment and object recognition technology to promote discussion about current topics in mobile vision and artificial intelligence. Your guide: a fish-like creature who learns about the human experience by eating your emotions. Long-form AR content as Guppy evolves!
  • One Hand Clapping (Developed by Bad Dream Games)
    • One Hand Clapping is a 2D platformer that invites you to sing into your microphone to solve musical puzzles and change the world around you.
  • Nintendo Labo (Developed by Nintendo)
    • Nintendo Labo combines physical and digital play patterns to teach and support principles of engineering, physics and basic programming. The platform uses kits that include cardboard cut-outs and other materials. The kits provide a fun way for kids to explore topics while building fundamental understanding of the technology behind them.
  • Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt (Developed by Ubisoft)
    • In Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt, players can free roam the entire interactive 3D recreation, free of combat, storyline or time constraints. Explore Ancient Egypt with 75 guided tours curated by historians and Egyptologists, each with a focus on different aspects of life in Ptolemaic Egypt.

Most Significant Impact

  • Can't Wait to Learn Uganda (Developed by War Child Holland)
    • War Child Holland and partners develop solutions with and for children affected by conflict. The result is a self-guided serious gaming format accessed on tablets that takes children through Ministry approved math and reading curricula, providing opportunity for children to work toward primary level.
  • UNICEF Kid Power (Developed by Teravision Technology, Teravision Games and 42 Mate)
    • UNICEF Kid Power turns everyday activity into lifesaving food for over 16 million severely malnourished children around the world. By connecting a Kid Power Band or other activity tracker to our game, families, friends and classrooms can save lives with every step they take.
  • Rispek Danis (Developed by Jennifer Ann's Group)
    • A culturally appropriate and enjoyable game about consent created for youth in Vanuatu, a country with one of the World's highest rates of sexual victimization of children. The game is narrated in Bislama, a primary language of Vanuatu, and all dialogue, locations, and music are representative of ni-Vanuatu youth life.
  • My Memory of Us (Developed by Juggler Games)
    • My Memory of Us is a moving fairy tale about friendship and hope in the darkest moments of our times. Enter hand-crafted, gorgeously animated 2D world full of adventure, exploration, stealth and puzzles. Meet the kids brought up in peculiar environments and help them survive during times of occupation.

Best Learning Game

  • Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt (Developed by Ubisoft)
    • In Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt, players can free roam the entire interactive 3D recreation, free of combat, storyline or time constraints. Explore Ancient Egypt with 75 guided tours curated by historians and Egyptologists, each with a focus on different aspects of life in Ptolemaic Egypt.
  • Cards Against Calamity (Developed by 1st Playable Productions & the Environmental Law Institute)
    • In Cards Against Calamity, you take on the role of mayor of a small coastal town. You must balance the needs of various stakeholder groups, from fishermen to tourists and small business owners, while protecting the town from job loss, pollution, hurricanes, and hipsters. Do you have what it takes?
  • The Cat in the Hat Builds That (Developed by PBS Kids)
    • The Cat in the Hat Builds That app introduces pre-k kids to science inquiry and engineering concepts through games tailored to their learning progress. Kids can build bridges, explore friction through slides & more as they earn rewards & explore in their own way.
  • HoloLAB Champions (Developed by Schell Games)
    • HoloLAB Champions is a VR chemistry game show, where contestants complete experiments to become champions of lab practice. With guidance and witty commentary provided by holographic hosts Earl and Meyer, players perform a series of tasks quickly and accurately, allowing them to learn basic lab skills in a safe environment.

Best XR For Change Experience

  • Another Dream (Developed by alpha_rats)
    • Another Dream is a hybrid animated documentary and VR game, brings the gripping, true love story of an Egyptian lesbian couple to life. Faced with a post-revolution backlash against the LGBTQ community, they escape Cairo to seek asylum and acceptance in the Netherlands. An accompanying installation allows audiences to reflect on what they have seen, heard, and felt in VR.
  • Homestay (Developed by National Film Board of Canada)
    • Homestay is one family's story of life with international students—a look at how complete immersion in another culture can create a clash of expectations and change our understanding of family, hospitality, nationality and love.
  • Tendar  (Developed by Tender Claws)
    • Tendar is a project that focuses on virtual pet, Guppy, that feeds on laughter, surprise and tears. Guppy learns and evolves based on players' facial expressions and social interactions – the more faces it can scan, the better. Guppy can also recognize and respond to over 200 objects, building up knowledge as it interacts more and more with the physical world.
  • Queerskins: a love story (Developed by Cloudred)
    • In Queerskins: a love story, users are seated in the back seat of a photorealistic vintage 1986 Cadillac, behind two grieving parents, Ed and Mary-Helen, as they take a magic realist journey down a country road in rural Missouri. Visitors get to know Sebastian through the drama unfolding in intimate proximity in the front seat as well as by interacting with artifacts from his life, a collection of personal belongings including his diary they find in a box on the seat next to them.

The 16th Annual Games for Change Festival will be held from June 17th to June 19th.

About Madeline Ricchiuto

Madeline Ricchiuto is a gamer, comics enthusiast, bad horror movie connoisseur, writer and generally sarcastic human. She also really likes cats and is now Head Games Writer at Bleeding Cool.

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