Gaming Internet

Find Cool Interactive Games That Create A Social Impact On ‘Games For Change’

Saikat Basu 14-12-2011

interactive gamesThe impact of video games on children has been debated. It has veered towards both extremes. When you find yourself on the losing side of an argument, you can point towards the social and educational impact of games on children. But why are we dumbing it down, when game playing is as much a part of the adult world.


From education to politics…from business to the environment, games are being tailored to promote awareness of social issues.  Remember the post that showcased 7 Free Online News Games That Are Based On World Affairs & News Events 7 Free Online News Games That Are Based On World Affairs & News Events Tucked away in the smorgasbord of online games is a genre called news games. Yes, you read it right. New games take any past or present global happening and turn into an interactive game. Free... Read More ? The games there serve to remind us of the potential that exists beyond the blood-spills and Martian colonization’s of games meant solely for fun.

A website that’s doing some work on highlighting the link between social impact and games is Games For Change.

Supporting games for social good

interactive games

The gaming site has existed for quite some time (2004) and its mission statement says it all – Catalyzing Social Impact through Digital Games.

What’s unique is that it is a non-profit organization. It is a community/movement of many creative people who are committed to social issues through the way of gaming. It is not simply a curation site for the best social games that are out there…but a full-fledged organization that is involved in bringing together the best ideas from across the globe, and taking in  the resources to turn those ideas into social games.


Here is an example…

Just to cite one example, Half The Sky is a combined multi-million dollar project on the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The project’s theme is the moral challenge of oppression of women around the world, and to give equal rights to them in order to promote economic development and combat fundamentalism – to “hold up half the sky,” in the words of a Chinese saying.

Games For Change is working with partners like Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), USAID, the Ford Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and ITVS to develop a global Facebook game and mobile games for India and Africa.

You can read more about their global activities here on the Services page of the website.

The Games Arcade – Let’s Play!

cool interactive games


Games For Change has a games arcade where you can play some really cool games and see for yourself the powerful mix of education, social awareness, and entertainment.  Games are curated from many sources but each addresses a social issue. Some are free and some are commercial. You can also recommend social games using the submission form on the site. You can browse games by age and subject (for example – Civics, Conflict, Environment, Human Rights etc.).

Let’s check out three games featured on the site that shows us the potential of these types of gaming tools:



cool interactive games


The cool programming ‘educator’ and online learning game teaches you the basics of programming without tutorials. It does so by engaging you in an interactive game right from the start. For instance, you can create an account only after completing a few rounds of coding. As you progress, you learn and earn rewards.

Read our full review on Codeacademy – Hands Down The Easiest Way To Code Codecademy - Hands Down The Easiest Way To Code Codecademy is a new website slash interactive programming tutorial that walks you through the basics of JavaScript. While it hasn't been around very long, the site has already been generating a lot of buzz on... Read More .

The Curfew


cool interactive games


The game for the young is based on political themes of our times (Britain 2007). The game challenges the player to them to examine the freedoms he enjoys and the potential consequences if he does not protect them. The game is played over four episodes and involves role-play with four characters.

One Ocean


interactive games

One Ocean is an environmental game that lets you design your own 3D underwater habitats. You learn not only about the oceans and its creatures, but also about how to save it from this century’s challenges. You have to download the Unity Web Player to play it on your desktop. The game is playable on both Windows and Mac.

I have just scratched the surface of the games arcade here. Browse through the games. Let us know which ones is your favorite. Also, drop an appreciative note if you find the idea of games for social change and the Games For Change website compelling enough.

Related topics: Education Technology, Online Games.

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  1. Game to change
    December 15, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Hi, Great article, it really hits home and supports our cause. We’re
    based in the UK and are hoping to encourage social change through the
    use of gamification. this will manifest itself by using game mechanics
    to help influence users into taking correct choices in their lives. We’d
    love to speak to like minded people who are into social change on our

  2. Games for Change
    December 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Hey Saikat. Thank you so much for the in depth write up. Feel free to reach out to us if you ever have questions. Cheers!

    • Saikat Basu
      December 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      Really liked your site and the work you are doing especially as I am interested in educational games myself. So, writing about it was a pleasure. Thanks for dropping by and reading it :)