Power Play: How Video Games Can Save the World

Burak, Asi & . St. Martin's. Jan. 2017. 272p. notes. index. ISBN 9781250089335. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250089342. SOC SCI
Burak (chairman, nonprofit Games for Change) and Parker (writer, New York Times) tell the tales from inception to realization of serious video games meant to improve lives. Beginning with games created to enhance our understanding of the world and one another, the narrative goes on to highlight games that explore current social issues internationally, target scientific and medical problems, as well as discuss the future of serious game projects and the luminaries working on them. Each chapter describes a single project in detail, from Sandra Day O'Connor's iCivics game for educating school children about the U.S. government to Prince Fahad bin Faisal Al Saud's designs that inspire a new global perception of Saudi women. Each story is less concerned with game mechanics and programming, focusing instead on the challenges of funding, marketing, and building momentum. Because of that focus, this book is practical and inspiring, providing blueprints for success and stories that excite the imagination.
VERDICT These compelling examples of games for change are sure to engage gaming enthusiasts, activists, and game studies scholars.
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