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Games for Change Awards

Games for Change is a charity that aims to empower game creators and social innovators to drive real-world change using games and immersive media. These might be games that inspire youth to explore civic issues, learn science skills or look after mental health.

Each year Change Awards celebrates games for social impact and learning through their awards. All awards are competitive, and submissions are reviewed through a rigorous evaluation process by expert jurors. Games that win demonstrate creativity and embrace experimentation to break conventions of form or concept in a manner that may pave new ways for the sector.

This includes:

  • Best Gameplay: Recognizes games that demonstrate highly compelling, polished and engaging gameplay and which incorporate gameplay mechanics that align with and reinforce the intended impact goals of the project.
  • Best Learning: Recognizes games that offer meaningful engagement around intended learning objectives, and successfully balance the ‘learning’ with fun, engaging gameplay.
  • Significant Impact: Recognizes games that target specific social issues with proven outcomes/actions.

This list includes 20 games from the last 10 years, with 369 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to .

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth and Strategy
Total Likes: 369
 

 

That Dragon, Cancer

Release Date: 12/01/2016, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

That Dragon, Cancer is a game about a family with a young son who has terminal brain cancer. It sounds off-putting and morbid but this living biography invites you to join the family and find hope, faith and love in the face of an insurmountable...

Everything

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

This is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in between.

Dragon Box

Release Date: 09/05/2012

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

DragonBox is an educational series of games that teaches young children maths, such as algebra using pattern matching with symbols. Unlike other educational games, the fun is in the doing in DragonBox, rather than incentivising learning with separate...

Nintendo Labo

Release Date: 27/04/2018

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Nintendo Labo is a game themed around physical folding, colouring and cutting. You get a cardboard pack with the game that folds up to make objects into which you slot the screen and controllers. Whether it’s cardboard steering wheels, fishing rods,...

Sea of Solitude

Release Date: 05/07/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Sea of Solitude is an adventure where you play a young woman, Kay, with such strong loneliness that her feelings turn her into a monster. As you explore a flooded city you discover dark creatures that you must deal with -- by uncovering their underlying...

Never Alone

Release Date: 18/12/2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.

Gone Home

Release Date: 15/08/2013, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Gone Home places you in the role of Katie, returning from overseas to her family home. But the house is deserted and by exploring the rooms you piece together what happened to her sister, Sam. It’s a mystery to solve, but a common one of family...

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

This is a dark fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse and Celtic mythology, where you play a young female Pict warrior, Senua. You explore and fight your way to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover. As you play, though, you hear multiple voices in...

Sky Children of the Light

Release Date: 18/07/2019

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Sky Children of the Light (Sky Children of Light) is a huge open-world online game designed to create altruism between players. From the developer of Flower and Journey, it takes you on a social adventure in an ever-expanding world with up to 8 other...

Life Is Strange (Series)

Release Date: 19/01/2016

Platforms: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

This is a click/tap-to-move adventure where you play a student at high school in a sleepy American town. Despite the idyllic setting, you have a foreboding premonition of a disastrous storm. Along with this prophetic vision, you discover the ability to...

Gris

Release Date: 06/10/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Gris is a platform game where you guide a young girl through a crumbling world. Through beautiful metaphoric landscapes and soaring music, the game touches on emotions of loss and longing but doesn’t resolve to a firm narrative. Although not hugely...

What Remains of Edith Finch

Release Date: 18/04/2017, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Edith Finch is the surviving member of the Finch family, who seem to have died from a curse. In first-person perspective, you return to the family’s coastal home to learn about each relative’s final hours by exploring their rooms in turn.

Papers, Please

Release Date: 08/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita and iOS

You play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizens’ passports and paperwork according to an increasing list of changing...

Dreams (Dreams)

Release Date: 14/10/2019

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Anyone can learn how to create their own video games, music, animations and art in Dreams. Everything is controlled with accessible menus and interactions via the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 controller. This makes it easy to dive in and create...

This War Of Mine

Release Date: 14/11/2014, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Inspired by the 1992–96 Siege of Sarajevo, this is a war game where you play the civilian trying to survive during the fighting. You face tough decisions on how to spend time and resources each day to maintain health, hunger and mood levels until a...

Tree

Release Date: 13/08/2018

Platforms: PC

Tree is a short 15 minute game that tells the story of a boy who plants a small tree. You control the planting, watering and how the tree grows each season. As you do this the years pass and the boy...

Bounden

Release Date: 21/05/2014

Platforms: Android and iOS

Bounden is a smartphone dance game that gets players to use their bodies. Two people hold opposite ends of one smartphone then move together to keep a cursor over the ball.

Assassin's Creed Discovery Tour

Release Date: 10/09/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Discovery Tour is a special mode that uses the worlds created for the main Assassin’s Creed games to offer an educational exploration experience. It is available both as a free part of the original games and as a...

Dot's Home

Release Date: 22/10/2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Dot's Home is a narrative game where you play a black woman in Detroit exploring the impact of racism in the past and the results of it today. You travel through time and interact with the characters you meet, learning about redlining, gentrification...

Svoboda 1945: Liberation

Release Date: 03/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Svoboda 1945: Liberation is a narrative game that uses footage of real actors to tell an interweaving story about the aftermath of the Second World War. As you talk to the villagers, explore locations untouched for years and complete puzzles, you...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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