[Skip to Content]

GUIDELINES & AWARDS

 

> SUBMISSION CRITERIA
> AWARD CATEGORIES
> JURY PROCESS & RUBRIC

 

SUBMISSION CRITERIA

All eligible submissions must first meet the following basic criteria for consideration:

 

SOCIAL IMPACT GAME: 

  • All games must fall within the broad confines of being a ‘game for change', addressing real-world challenges, improving people's lives, driving social change, serving as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts, inspiring learning, encouraging empathy, and/or making a difference.

RELEASE DATE: 

  • The game's launch date must fall between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
  • A game cannot be submitted to the G4C Awards more than once (games that have been submitted to previous G4C Awards will not be considered for competition).

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 

  • The deadline for submissions is February 19, 2021 @ 11:59 PM.

DIGITAL FORMAT: 

  • All submissions must be in a digital format and be fully playable.
  • Digital projects with installations that are no longer running, such as alternate reality games (ARGs) or live-action games, must include documentation of the game in a digital file format.
  • Unfortunately, we are not able to consider board, card, or other games that do not have digital components
  • COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to the current global pandemic, we are unable to accomodate receiving digital games with physical components. If your game uses physical materials, or requires custom hardware or wearables, we will ask that you record and upload a short video demo of your game to share with the judges.

FULLY PLAYABLE GAMES:

  • To review your submission, we will require 15 fully playable versions of your digital game for jurors, whether it be through a link to your website, Dropbox, download codes, etc.

 


AWARD CATEGORIES

The 2021 G4C Awards will recognize games in the following award categories. Developers must opt into each award on the submission form in order to be considered for the category. PLEASE NOTE: some award categories require supplemental documentation/materials, which must be uploaded in the entry form.

Developers can submit their game/experience to numerous award categories by completing a single submission form and opting into particular award categories.

Through a rigorous evaluation process, jurors will identify four finalists per award category, each of which will be invited to the 18th Annual Games for Change Festival (July 12-14, 2021) and featured in a special Nominee Showcase & Award Ceremony. 

 

MOST INNOVATIVE:

Recognizes games that demonstrate creativity and embrace experimentation to break conventions of form or concept in a manner that may pave new ways for the sector.

 

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.

 

MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT

Recognizes games that target specific social issues with proven outcomes/actions.

  • RequirementsTo compete in this category, developers are required to share supplemental documentation that summarizes the game’s impact objectives. Various formats and types of 'impact documentation' are welcomed (such as internal data, third party research, testimonials, etc.). This category is NOT limited to games that have completed a formal impact assessment.

 

BEST LEARNING GAME

Recognizes games that offer meaningful engagement around intended learning objectives, and successfully balance the 'learning' with fun, engaging gameplay.

  • Requirements: To compete in this category, developers are required to share supplemental documentation that summarizes the game's intended learning objectives, audience and assessment results (i.e. internal data, third-party research, subjective information, and conjecture).

 

BEST XR FOR CHANGE EXPERIENCE

Recognizes the best augmented, virtual, or mixed reality experience created with a social impact goal in mind, irrespective of platform.

  • (Please note this category is NOT limited to games; submissions may include all types of immersive experiences, including 360 films.)
  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions across the United States, we strongly recommend that all XR experiences upload video documentation in the 'Supporting Materials' section to help the XR jurors with the review process, as well as any other materials that may be helpful. This can be a gameplay video or recording of the experience.

 

BEST STUDENT GAME

Recognizes games created by college/university students that integrate social impact objectives and real-world impact.

  • Requirements: To be eligible for this category, games must have been created by students during the 2020-2021 school year; students will be asked to verify their status as a student during the game development period (via uploading a student ID, transcript, etc.). 
  • College-level students may enter their game projects in the Best Student Game award category, but the game will not be eligible to compete in other award categories.

GAME OF THE YEAR

Our grand prize! The Game of the Year is awarded to an exemplary game that demonstrates impact, innovation and gameplay and raises the bar for the impact games sector.

  • Finalists are automatically elligible for the Game of the Year Award. No action is needed.

G4C PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

G4C invites the public to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award, selecting their favorite game from the year’s G4C Awards nominees.

  • Finalists from the following categories are automatically entered into the People's Choice Award competition: Best Gameplay, Most Innovative, Best Learning Game, and Most Significant Impact.

 


JURY PROCESS & RUBRIC

The G4C Awards process incorporates three rounds of jury review, which take place between March-May 2021. Each submission is evaluated by panels of jurors both quantitatively and qualitatively using the below rubric. 

Jurors include leading experts from a diverse fields, including game design/development, technology, media, learning, social impact and more. Nominees and finalists are not selected by staff or board members of Games for Change.

 

BEST GAMEPLAY:

  • What is its degree of artistry and production quality – polish, functionality, technical and thematic execution?
  • How well aligned is the gameplay to the project’s goals and intended impact?
  • How well do mechanics achieve the core desired impact?
  • Would its intended audience be attracted to it and play it? Is it appropriately challenging for this audience?
  • To what degree would you pass on this game to your colleagues and friends?

MOST INNOVATIVE:

  • To what degree is the game original and bring new ideas into "games for change" (through game design, technology, subject matter, or audiences)?
  • What unique elements of the gaming medium are used to address the topic(s)?
  • How creatively and technically experimental is the game?
  • To what degree Is the game interesting or provocative?

MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT:

  • How and to what degree does the game impact a specific social issue?
  • How does it reach and activate target audiences?
  • What is the desired change and is it achieved in the real world?
  • Are there associated indicators that demonstrate the achieved impact?
  • How significant is the impact (in addition to/aside from # of downloads/plays)

BEST LEARNING GAME:

  • Are intended audience learning objectives and outcomes clearly stated?
  • How are learning objectives defined? Does it incorporate learning theory or existing research?
  • Does the game track user progress? (LMS, backend data collection and reporting)
  • How and to what degree did the game achieve its intended outcomes?
  • Was there a good balance of learning and fun?

BEST XR FOR CHANGE EXPERIENCE:

  • How and to what degree does the experience take advantage of the unique affordances of the XR medium?
  • Does it feel like an experience you could ONLY have in XR?
  • Does the experience reach its intended audience?
  • How and to what degree does the experience impact a specific social issue or learning objective?
  • Are there associated indicators that demonstrate the achieved impact?
  • How significant is the impact?

BEST STUDENT GAME:

  • How does the game tackle a specific impact theme, social issue, or learning objective?
  • If possible, are there any associated indicators that demonstrate the intended impact?
  • What is its degree of artistry and production quality – polish, functionality, technical and thematic execution?
  • Would you recommend the game to a colleague or friend?