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Games for Change has announced the winners of its 2023 awards, which celebrate the potential of games and XR experiences to drive positive change.
This year’s awards received over 400 entries from around the world, and the panel of jurors, made up of game design and development, technology, media, learning, and social impact experts, selected 10 winners across different categories, including Game of the Year, Most Significant Impact, Best Narrative, Best Learning Game, and Best XR4C Experience.
The Game of the Year, Most Significant Impact award went to Endling – Extinction is Forever by Herobeat Studios, while Terra Nil by Free Lives won the Most Innovative award.
Gerda: A Flame In Winter by Bird Island [ex-PortaPlay] won the Best Narrative award, and (val)iant: or, val’s guide to having a broken vag by Cactus Studio won Best Student Game.
Go Nisha Go – My Life My Choice by Howard Delafield International, won the Best Learning Game award, Body of Mine VR by Cameron Kostopoulos won Best XR4C Experience, and Luna’s Light by ImpactVR won the Best Health Game award.
Cat Park by Tilt won Best Civics Game, I Was a Teenage Exocolonist by Northway Games won Best Gameplay, and Shasn: Azadi by Abhishek Lamba and Zain Memon for Memesys Games won the Best Board or Tabletop Game for Impact.
In addition to the games and immersive experiences, Games for Change also recognized industry leaders and innovators who have made significant contributions to the industry. The Lego Group won the Industry Leadership award, Grace Collins won the 2023 Vanguard recipient award, Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo won the Giving Award, Destiny 2 and Bungie won the Accessibility Award, and Alan Gershenfeld won the inaugural G4C Hall of Change award.
Collins gave a moving acceptance speech, mentioning how a relative once bragged about attacking gay people outside a bar after taunting them with baseball bats. Everyone laughed at the relative’s story, except Collins.
The XR4C Summit, which combines talks, panels, and demos, will start today. The summit brings together industry leaders and innovators to share and discuss cross-sector applications of immersive technology for social impact while exploring the opportunities and challenges that will shape the future. Andrea Rene of What’s Good Games hosted the awards show.
The summit features a lineup of speakers, including Brittan Heller, Jan Plass, Michaela Ternasky-Holland, Mark DeLoura, Dean Takahashi (me!), Rebecca Benghiat, Rachelle Vallon, Madison Taylor, and Nimrod Shanit, who will discuss topics such as content moderation, safety and privacy in XR, impact campaigns, metaverse, and multiplayer gamified narratives.
Disclosure: The organizers of the event paid our way to New York, where I’m moderating a session. Our coverage remains objective.
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