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Life Is Not a Zero Sum Game

Changing the GameAlthough I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a Luddite (obviously blogging is using technology), I tend to error on the side of unplugged entertainment for tots.

But there comes a day when the kiddos grow up and discover the joys of the electronic world. When that day comes, it is reassuring to know that Changing the Game (launched by Advanced Micro Devices) is there.

Moving beyond the traditional interpretation of educational gaming, AMD is funding programs to design digital games that expand the world and open young minds. These games are about engaging in positive solutions, instead of battling it out.

Will kids be interested in games that promote these positive values of global citizenship and conservationism? I don’t know that we’ll ever be rid entirely of violent gaming, but I think the popularity of world-building and socializing games point to the possibility of exciting alternatives.

“Today’s youth are highly concerned about social issues and the current generation of youth gamers is among the most socially conscious in history,” said Suzanne Seggerman, co-founder and president of Games for Change. “The movement toward educating and engaging youth through digital games for change not only raises awareness of the importance of social issues, but gives youth an opportunity to make a difference. As this movement continues to build momentum, we believe that partnerships and grant support from leading technology companies like AMD will be critical to its success.”

Here are just two of the programs they are funding:

  • Girlstart: created to empower middle and high school girls to excel in math, science, and technology. As a capstone project, the Girlstart team will identify a social issue of importance to them and create an event in Teen Second Life that will help raise awareness and inspire action around the issue.
  • Global Kids: seeks to transform urban youth into successful students and community leaders. 20 young people from underserved communities to work with game developers to develop, create and distribute a game about the heroic role of residents following Hurricane Katrina. Last year, young people created the game Ayiti: The Cost of Life which allows players to assume the role of impoverished people living in rural Haiti with the goal of meeting some key health, education and quality of life challenges.

Sounds life affirming? Want to know more? Check out Changing the Game for an interesting video and for more information about how you and your kids can get involved.

Filed under: Games, School Aged Children, Socially Conscious, Women's Issues

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