Games for Change 2023-24 Game Design Challenge to Focus on Solutions to Climate Change

Game design program and competition organization Games for Change (G4C) has announced its 2023-24 Student Challenge for middle and high school students, focusing on social impact game design. The theme this year is solutions to climate change to promote "greener communities, healthy oceans, and eco-friendly fashion," the organization said.

For the first time, international as well as U.S. students aged 10 to 18 are welcome to submit. Also new this year, the Challenge will accept analog tabletop game submissions to expand accessibility for those who do not have broadband services or coding experience.

Educators can access free professional development resources now to teach students how to design games and learn collaboration, communication, coding, and computational thinking skills.

The competition opens in the beginning of January 2024 and closes in early April. Workshops for students by industry experts will also be held from mid-January to early April. Competition judging will be held from early April to mid-May, and finalists will be notified in the first half of May. An awards ceremony will be held toward the end of May.

"Competition winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship, and other winners receive prizes including technology, video games, and opportunities with leading game companies," the organization said.

Specific resources for each kind of submission include:

  • EcoRise, building stronger and greener communities by inspiring players to overcome a local sustainability challenge. Waste management, urban planning, or community action are some ideas.
  • OceanWise, ideas for cleaning up the oceans.
  • Recycle the Runway, incorporating ecologically responsible fashion choices.

For more information, visit the Games for Change Student Challenge page, and click on the Arcade link to view and play past winners' game projects.

"Youth bring unique perspectives and new ideas to solving climate challenges," said Kristi Hibler-Luton, senior director of school programs at EcoRise. "Youth activism continues to be at the forefront of climate advocacy, and we are excited to support students to harness their creativity to educate their communities about climate challenges and solutions through play and gamification."

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.