The Rise of Ethical Gaming at the 'Games for Change Festival'
Posted by Brandon Hedges & Matt Barker on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM By Brandon Hedges & Matt Barker / April 19, 2014 Comment
The world's opinion of video games is finally changing, as more and more people are seeing video games not as outputs for senseless violence, but as a means to achieve greater heights. For instance, next week Asi Burak's 'Games for Change Festival' will team-up with the Tribeca Film Festival to undo those stereotypes. Asi Burak is well known for developing a video game to help ease tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians in their hostile dispute over land. He recognizes the true capabilities of the medium:
"People understand that games are powerful, but they're also scared of this power. We need to change the perception that all games are shallow, violent and childish, because they are not," Burak said.Of course, video games have also changed a great deal over the years. Statistics show us that the average gamer is now 30 years old, and there are games for all ages, for all genders, and for all purposes. There are strategy games, violent games, games for children, and everything in between -- video games have long since broken out of a single mold. It has gotten to the point were there are video games for every genre, and the average young person spends just a few less hours playing video games than they do going to school.
"People see the negative side and they talk about addiction, but there are many games on the positive side," comments Burak.But Burak is not the only one who sees this medium as powerful. Jane McGonigal (author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World) is like-minded, and will also be joining Burak at Tribeca's festival. McGonigal notes that:
"Gaming does seem to be persuasive in changing peoples' thoughts, attitudes, feelings and actions in a way other mediums cannot."And that may be due to games being "amazingly creative experiences and far more engaging than watching TV," as Burak points out when discussing Minecraft. People now are finding video games more and more useful for achieving positive outcomes, even bridging conflicts in places like the Middle East. Photos via: Google