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Games For Change expands its student game dev contest to L.A.

Games For Change expands its student game dev contest to L.A.

September 1, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

A new partnership with the Annenberg Foundation in Los Angeles will help Games For Change include L.A. in its upcoming student game dev challenge, which aims to inspire kids to make games about real-world issues.

Expanding the program presumably means there will be more opportunities for would-be game devs and game dev educators in the L.A. area to get involved; for example, local dev Riot Games has reportedly agreed to bring participants in for field trips.

This will be the third Student Challenge Games For Change has organized, following a successful debut in New York City early last year and a follow-up that saw the Challenge expand to include Dallas and Pittsburgh as well. This time around it appears that Dallas and PIttsburgh will not be participating, as only New York City and Los Angeles are called out on the Student Challenge website.

As in Challenges past, participating Student Challenge partners (which include game companies like Unity Technologies and Take-Two Interactive) will offer training, expertise, and other shows of support in each city to help students in public middle school or public high school create games tied to three common themes. For the third Student Challenge, those themes are:

  • Kindness ("Explore how choosing kindness and compassion can change the world")
  • News Literacy ("Help players become critical consumers of media")
  • Wildlife Conservation ("Games focusing on animals, ecosystems, and endangered species")

At least twenty teachers in each city receive training and support to help them run the Challenge (either during school or after-hours). Participants will submit their games next spring, and each entry is evaluated based on its expression of the theme, its creativity, and its potential for social impact. 

The prize pool includes a number of scholarships sponsored by Take-Two; winners will be selected by a jury of game devs and other experts and honored at a special event next year.

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