Deadline: February 24, 2016 @ 11:59 p.m. EST

  • The annual Games for Change (G4C) Awards celebrates the year’s best games for social impact. All awards are competitive, and every submission will be considered for each of the following categories: Most Innovative, Best Gameplay, and Game of the Year.

    Additionally, you can choose to enter your game in two specialty categories: Most Significant Impact and Best Learning Game. Please note that these two categories require supplemental documentation.

    A professional jury will review all nominees and recognize three finalists in each of four categories (Most Innovative Best Gameplay, Most Significant Impact, and Best Learning Game), and all finalists will be considered for Game of the Year. Each finalist will receive two complimentary passes to the G4C Festival (June 23-24, 2016) and the opportunity to present their game at an on-site Awards arcade for Festival attendees to play.

    Winners in all categories will be announced on stage at the Festival’s Awards Ceremony.

    There is no fee for submissions.

    Have questions? Check out our frequently asked questions here or drop us an email at


    All eligible submissions must first meet the following basic criteria for consideration:

    Social impact game: All games must fall within the broad confines of being a game for change by addressing current and/or pressing social issues and aiming to produce a sustainable and positive impact on society and/or individuals.

    Release date: The game’s launch date must fall between January 1, 2015, and March 1, 2016. All submissions must be fully playable.

    Digital format: All submissions must be in a digital format. Projects that are no longer running, such as alternate reality games (ARGs) or live-action games, must include documentation of the game in a digital file format. Unfortunately, we are not able to consider board, card, or other games that do not have digital components.



    Every submission will be considered for each of the following categories:

    Most Innovative: Games that demonstrate creativity and aspiring to bring new ideas through unique game design, technology, and/or audiences. Games that embrace experimentation to break conventions of form or concept in a manner that may pave new ways to the sector.

    Best Gameplay: Games with highly compelling and engaging gameplay. Game mechanics align with and reinforce impact goals. Polished in design, functionality, and thematic execution.

    Game of the Year: The grand prize! An exemplary game that achieves all three dimensions: Impact, Innovation, and Gameplay.


    Additionally, you can enter your game into one or both of the following specialty categories if your game meets the below criteria. Note that supplemental materials are required for both categories.

    Most Significant Impact: Games that target a specific social issue with proven actions/outcomes (i.e. awareness, civic learning, community building, or behavior change).

    To compete in this category, include a 1- to 2-page PDF in the Supporting Documents section below. Please outline your target audience, impact outcomes reached by the game, and quantitative and/or qualitative indicators that demonstrate the achieved impact.

    Best Learning Game: Games that offer meaningful engagement around intended learning objectives with measurable outcomes. Examples of types of learning include cognitive skills (academic subjects, memory), social/emotional skills (empathy, bullying), physical health (movement, nutrition), and creative well-being.

    To compete in this category, include a 1-to-2-page PDF in the Supporting Documents section below. Please include information on the intended learning objectives, audience, and assessment results (i.e. internal data, third-party research, subjective information, and conjecture).


    All awards will be determined by juries comprised of leading experts from a diversity of relevant fields. Nominees are not determined by staff or board members of Games for Change.

    Each submission will be evaluated by our nominating panelists and final jury with respect to the following:

    Design/Gameplay: What is the degree of artistry and production quality – polish of design, functionality, and thematic execution? Is the gameplay highly compelling and engaging? How well aligned is the gameplay to the project’s goals and intended impact?

    Innovation: To what degree is the game original and bringing new ideas into the field of impact games through game design, technology, and/or audiences? How creatively and technologically experimental is the game?

    Social Impact: How and to what degree does the game impact a specific social issue and is it achieved in the real world?  Are the game mechanics aligned with and/or do they reinforce social issue goals? How does it activate target audiences to engage with it?

    Learning  (applies only to Best Learning Games category): How and to what degree does the game achieve its intended learning goal? Is there evidence the game improves learning outcomes? Is the game both engaging and meaningful? Does it take advantage of the unique affordances of games to meet its learning goals?

    We will require 15 fully playable versions of your game for jurors, whether it be through a link to your website, Dropbox, download codes, or shipping via physical mail to our NYC office.  

    Complete the form by 24 February!