Games to Save the World

by Darius Kazemi on September 3, 2006

in Uncategorized

So, I am blessed/cursed with a social conscience, and sometimes I read about something and I stew and think to myself, “Damn it, self, why the hell are you making video games and not working in a progressive think tank or running an NGO to bring fresh water to refugees or something?” Tonight was one of those nights.

Now, something inside me knows that games can really make a positive impact on the world. But it’s very hard to articulate.

And then I saw that Kim linked to the transcript of Will Wright’s recent talk at the BAFTA awards ceremony. His talk is about changing the world for the better, through the design of video games.

Games can also give people very different perpectives on things. An 8 year old who played Sim City was riding in a car and asked “That’s industrial! Why did they put that there? It’s right next to a residential zone”. It’s amazing that a game can teach an 8 year old to see things like that. [...]

Lately, SF has given us dystopian visions. Surprisingly, Blade Runner is often cited in city planning documents with comments on potential developments like “We don’t want this city to become like Blade Runner”. [...] Once you predict a really negative potential future and the idea spreads, people tend to move away from things that might cause it.

I love this man. (Will, I mean. Kim is pretty awesome, too, though.)

Also, I would be remiss if I did not link to Games For Change, a group dedicated to making games that impact society in a positive way.


Ian Schreiber September 3, 2006 at 4:15 am

What, no mention of Breakaway’s A Force More Powerful? I wouldn’t be surprised if the dev team collectively won a Nobel Peace Prize for that game in a few years.

Arshia September 4, 2006 at 9:19 am

Hi Darius..

I have the same feeling about doing Electronic Music! I have been thinking about it alot since a few months ago.. no wonder huh? I’m happy to see that my cousin has the same feelings.. . Keep up the good work man.

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