Games for Change, or G4C, is a movement and community of practice dedicated to using video games for social change. The movement -- spurred by the growth in "serious games" and intelligent conflict resolution games -- is now a full-fledged subgenre that has backing from the United Nations and other international bodies. Games for Change is also the name of a nonprofit organization that provides support and resources to individuals and organizations that use digital games for social change.
This event features leaders of the Games for Change movement, who demonstrate their work and discuss how G4C producers can join the growing community of developers of progressive video games.
Asi Burak, executive producer of Games for Change Eric Zimmerman, founder of GameLab Terrence Masson, professor at Northeastern University and New England representative of PGA New Media Council East
The panel is moderated by Chris Pfaff, chapter chairman of PGA New Media Council East.
Co-sponsored by the Producers Guild of America and the Department of Media Studies and Film at The New School.
Asi Burak co-founded ImpactGames to influence society and promote change through interactive media. The company has developed the internationally acclaimed PeaceMaker video game that sold more than 100,000 copies in over 60 countries. Their current project, PlaytheNews, was publicly launched in Spring 2008 and already garnered interest from top-tier media partners.
Burak has been interviewed by international media and is recognized as a thought-leader in this space. He and his partner Eric Brown are often asked to speak at conferences and institutions including The Sundance Film Festival, The Serious Games Summit, Games for Change, The Skoll Forum, Aspen Idea Festival, The US Army War College and many others.
Prior to that, Burak was VP of Marketing at Axis Mobile, Art Director at Saatchi & Saatchi and a Captain in the Israeli Intelligence Corps. He holds a Masters of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon and a BA in Design from the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem.
David Martz is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Muzzy Lane Software. Martz earned his MBA from Boston University and was an undergraduate at University of New Hampshire where he majored in Business Administration.
After 10 years with State Street Bank & Trust, he entered the world of educational software publishing, as a founding member of Cambridge Digital Media (publishers of Drivin' Route 66 and Making History Interactive) and Endeavor Software (a creator of multimedia programming for the New York Jets Football Club).
Chris Pfaff is the Chapter Chairman of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council East.
Eric Zimmerman is a game designer, entrepreneur, author, and academic who has been working in the game industry for more than 16 years.
Zimmerman's diverse activities have made him one of the New York Observer's "Power Punks," one of Interview Magazine's "30 To Watch," one of International Design Magazine's "ID 40" influential designers and one of The Hollywood Reporter's "Digital 50" along with Stephen Spielberg and Will Wright. Zimmerman recently was honored with a "VIP Award" by the International Game Developers Association for his years of work in the game creation community. Zimmerman has been called "The Lou Reed of Games" by author Stephen Johnson in Emergence and leading games scholar Dr. James Paul Gee has written that Zimmerman "is surely one of the smartest and most creative humans I have ever met."