On April 5th, Pixel Arts hosted 11 social impact games for the 3rd Annual Rob Ingram Youth Summit Against Violence. Organized by the Multnomah Youth Commission and their Youth Against Violence Committee, the Summit gathers hundreds together to help end violence directed toward youth.
At the Game Exploratorium, more than 70 youth participated in 2 sessions and discussed their relationships with video games and violence. As one youth voiced, “videogames are a representation of what is happening in real life, like Call of Duty and war–these topics have changed because of what is happening around the world.” Similarly, youth gave voice to the contradictions of games, asking “if a violent game makes me a killer, why doesn’t Madden make me a football player?” and “how do we create better futures with games?”
The success of the Game Exploratorium was also one of inter-organizational cooperation. Using computers provided by Free Geek, a team from Portland YouthBuilders provided more than 30 stations for youth to play games. We are thrilled to grow this opportunity into the future by collaborating with the Youth Against Violence Committee and communities for positive youth development.
Expect our report back in the next few weeks, and, until then, here is information on the entries at the Game Exploratorium. Of them, 9 are free. Play, explore and enjoy!
|Depict1||Xerus||http://www.kongregate.com/games/mirosurabu/depict1||Depict1 is a 2010 platformer game based around the ideas of deception and inversion. It was the winner of the 2010 Tank Awards.|
|Depression Quest||Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schankler||http://www.depressionquest.com/||Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression. You are given a series of everyday life events and have to attempt to manage your illness, relationships, job, and possible treatment.|
|A Closed World||MIT GAMBIT LABS||http://gambit.mit.edu/loadgame/summer2011/aclosedworld_play.php||RPG-like turn-based combat mechanics to emulate conversations about homophobia, acceptance and oppression. Rather than swords and spells, your character has logic, ethics and passion on his or her side and must maintain their composure in the face of crippling hate speech.|
|Auti-Sim||Taylan Kay||http://gamejolt.com/games/strategy-sim/auti-sim/12761/||Experience what hypersensitivity overload might feel like for those on the Autism spectrum. A haunting, abrasive game that puts you on a playground occupied by other children. Attempting to venture too far into the crowd and interact with your peers results in deafening static, volume-shifting effects and overwhelming visual impairments, forcing you to reel back and seclude yourself in a quiet area.|
|Papa & Yo||We Are Minority||http://www.weareminority.com/papo-yo/||A fantasy game rooted in some very real and personal issues. It’s a puzzle game and an adventure game about a young boy named Quico, his friend, Monster, and the sad nature of their relationship. While Monster can be playful and friendly, he has an addiction to poisonous frogs that, when fed, changes him into a raging and violent beast Quico must flee from.|
|Love in the Dumpster||Jean Hehn of Another Kind, Belgium||http://jenniferann.org/Love-in-the-Dumpster/2013–game-first-place.htm||Love in the Dumpster is Another Kind’s second winning game, having won in 2011 with “Finding Jane.”“Love in the Dumpster” is the fourth video game to be released from the 2013 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and like all of the other winning games is free to play to increase awareness about teen dating violence.|
|“Janie’s Sketchbook”||GP Touch
|http://jenniferann.org/Janies-Sketchbook/janiesketchbook/2013-video-game-to-stop-teen-dating-violence-Janies-Sketchbook.htm||Janie’s Sketchbook is a follow-up to the award-winning “Grace’s Diary,” the critically acclaimed game from 2010.“Sometimes games are just there for us when we want to have some fun, blow up the princess, and save the zombies, or something like that. Other times, we want to explore more difficult and painful stories. Grace’s Diary by GPTouch manages to seamlessly integrate the theme of relationship abuse into a sensitive and moving visual novel.”
– joye, JayIsGames.com
|Gracies Diary||http://jenniferann.org/2010-game-first-place.htm||Award winning and critically aclaimed game from the Jennifer Ann game jam to combat relationship based violence and abuse.|
|Papers Please||Lucas Pope||http://papersplea.se/||A Dystopian Document Thriller. The communist state of Arstotzka has ended a 6-year war with neighboring Kolechia and reclaimed its rightful half of the border town, Grestin. Your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia. Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists. Using only the documents provided by travelers and the Ministry of Admission’s primitive inspect, search, and fingerprint systems you must decide who can enter Arstotzka and who will be turned away or arrested.|
|Adventures of Rubberkid||Critterverse||http://www.thecritterverse.com/rubberkid/||The Adventures of Rubberkid is all about helping others get through the evils of bullying while learning just what horrible affects it can have on people.|
|Survivance||Elizabeth LaPensee||http://survivance.org/||Survivance is a social impact game that asks us to explore experiences of intergenerational trauma and create acts of survivance as a pathway to healing.|