Games for Change Announces Festival Speakers, Luminaries in Gaming for Health, Education, Civics & More; Festival Registration Now Open

(NEW YORK, March  28, 2023) – Today, Games for Change (G4C) announced tickets are available for the 20th annual Games for Change Festival, taking place July 18-20 in New York City. Games for Change also revealed the first round of speakers, featuring an exciting array of industry veterans and fresh faces inventing new ways games and immersive media can help solve some of today’s most urgent issues around education, mental health, diplomacy, climate crisis, and more. 

Featured Speakers:

The first round of featured speakers announced this week include:  

  • Gabo Arora  Award-winning Emerging Technology Pioneer, Professor, Entrepreneur, and former UN Diplomat
  • Gordon Bellamy Visiting Scholar, University of Southern California / President & CEO, Gay Gaming Professionals
  • Ryan Douglas Co-Founder, Deepwell / Founder, Nextern
  • Burcu Kilic Head of Policy, Frontier Technology, Minderoo Foundation
  • Alx Preston Founder + Creative Director, Heart Machine / Co-Founder Glitch City
  • Kellee Santiago  Head of Production, Niantic 
  • Mike Wilson - Co-Founder, Deepwell / Co-Founder, Devolver Digital

"Looking back at the past two decades, it's incredible to see the tremendous growth of the global Games for Change community and the excitement around using games and immersive media to drive tangible impact," said G4C President Susanna Pollack. "To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we're looking forward to bringing the community together again to explore how ​we can continue to​ harness​ these media​ for positive change. We're proud to have brought together diverse and inspiring speakers from across sectors over the years, and our first speakers announced for this year are no exception."

The flagship Festival includes two days of programming, curated by Lindsay Grace, Knight Chair in Interactive Media and Director of the MFA in Interactive Media at the University of Miami School of Communication and Vice President of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance. The one-day XR for Change Summit is curated by XR content expert Kristine Severson. The curator’s goals include spotlighting a mix of industry veterans to highlight the last 20 years of achievement and emerging voices pushing boundaries and inspiring positive change today. Sessions will explore the past, present, and future of games and immersive media, with subtopics including communities and toxicity, generative AI in games, mental health representation, sustainability, industry talent development, and ethical considerations for virtual worlds. In addition to talks and panels, attendees will have expanded opportunities for networking and interaction during the Meet the Funder sessions and evening Meet & Play activations at the Festival. 

Games for Change Festival Program

The 20th Games for Change Festival in New York City will feature  events from July 18 - 20, including: 

  • Games for Change Festival (July 18-19): Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the world’s largest annual event dedicated to games and social impact, which draws a cross-sector community of changemakers, developers, executives, and fans from around the world
  • XR for Change Summit (July 20): Explore emerging technologies shaping the future of social innovation in the metaverse and today’s most cutting-edge immersive experiences that are unlocking new pathways for social impact.

Additional Festival Events (invite only)

  • G4C Games & SDG Summit (July 17): An invite-only summit that will activate the games and XR sector to support key UN Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations Headquarters (Delegates Dining Room) for leaders across industries.
  • G4C Next Gen Fest (July 21): Youth ages 13-18 will come together to learn, create, and shape the future of video games for impact across education, civics, health, science, and more.

Early bird tickets for the Festival can be purchased on the Games for Change Festival website until April 28th.

About Games For Change

Since 2004, Games For Change (G4C) has empowered game creators and innovators to

drive real-world change — using games and immersive media to help people learn, improve

their communities, and make the world a better place. G4C partners with technology and gaming companies, nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies to run world-class events, public arcades, design challenges, and youth programs. G4C supports a global community of game developers working on using games to tackle real-world challenges, from humanitarian conflicts to climate change and education.

Join the 2024 Games for Change Festival!

Get your tickets now!