In August Games for Change will be holding its 14th annual festival, which advocates the power of videogames as drivers for social impact. As part of the event for the first time there will be a VR for Change summit, focusing on virtual reality’s (VR) ability to envoke social change.
The summit will bring together developers, artists, storytellers, journalists, researchers, activists and policymakers, who will discuss new initiatives to advance the field. The VR for Change summit will feature notable speakers such as Megan Smith, the third White House Chief Technology Officer of the United States, who’ll be giving a keynote speech sharing her vision on how VR and augmented reality (AR) technologies could empower people and improve civic engagement.
In addition to speaker sessions the summit will also include the U.S. Department of Education EdSim Challenge winners; the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Student Game, which will be a live crowd-gaming experience using VR to explore competitive social media; and the VR and Neuroscience Game Jam, an invitation only event taking place from Friday, 28th July – Sunday, 30th July.
“With over a decade of experience bringing together the gaming for social impact community and having established partnerships and credibility with nonprofits, foundations and government across a broad spectrum of issue areas, Games for Change is uniquely positioned to convene this emerging community,” said Susanna Pollack, President of Games for Change in a statement. “Very little has been done to directly bring together the VR and social impact community, and organizations that are creating compelling VR experiences and tools to advance their cause-oriented missions have few opportunities to connect and engage in focused and relevant conversations. We are excited to create this new platform where the VR community can finally come together for good.”
“The state of VR technologies today presents an opportunity to affect positive social change in radically new ways,” said Erik Martin, former Policy Advisor at White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under the Obama Administration. “The emerging landscape of VR technology, such as new headsets and mobile capabilities, as well as augmented reality, are making new kinds of media content and storytelling techniques possible to engage people with critical issues and causes. We are excited to grow the community and amplify impact with the VR for Change Summit.”
The Games for Change festival and VR for Change summit will take place from 31st July to 2nd August 2017, at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York City. Tickets can be purchased from the festivals Eventbrite page, starting from £129 USD excluding fees.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Games for Change and VR for Change, reporting back with any further announcements.