Life is Strange, last year’s beautiful coming-of-age episodic game, swept last night’s Games for Change Awards. The awards ceremony was held at the 13th Annual Games for Change Festival in New York City, a two-day event currently going on and dedicated to discussions about advances in games related to civic and social impact, health and learning.
Life is Strange won Game of the Year and Most Significant Impact, as selected by a panel of judges. In addition, it also won the Games for Change x Mashable People’s Choice Award, which was voted upon in an online poll. The other winners were Block’hood for Best Gameplay, That Dragon, Cancer for Most Innovative, and DragonBox Numbers for Best Learning Game.
Games for Change also awarded Mary Flanagan their Vanguard Award, which recognizes someone who champions, advocates and mentors a new generation of game creators in a significant way. Games for Change wrote that Mary Flanagan (pictured below) is:
... A leading innovator, artist, educator and designer, whose works have included everything from game-inspired art, to commercial games that shift people’s thinking about biases and stereotypes. Flanagan established the internationally recognized game research laboratory Tiltfactor in 2003 to invent “humanist” games and take on social change through games.
Another development from the Games for Change Festival, Sid Meier announced a new project, CivilizationEDU. This is a modified version of Civilization V meant to provide students with a way to engage with history through videogames. CivilizationEDU will have players “consider and evaluate the geographical ramifications of their economic and technological decisions, and to engage in systems thinking and experiment with the causal/correlative relationships between military, technology, political and socioeconomic development.” It is coming to high schools in the United States in Fall 2017.