Games for Change Festival 2016 Announces Awards Finalists; Includes Life is Strange, That Dragon, Cancer, and More

on June 2, 2016 11:31 AM

Currently in its 13th year, the annual Games for Change Festival seeks to embrace and showcase video games as a platform for learning and awareness, with the organization’s annual awards having revealed its nominees for the greatest achievements in narrative, innovation, and more in the last year.

The full list of finalists for the Games for Change Festival’s awards have been revealed, with Dontnod Entertainment’s episodic title Life is Strange leading the nominations with three total nods, followed shortly after by That Dragon, Cancer, the independently-produced narrative experience by developer Ryan Green that visualizes the four-year struggle of his infant son, Joel, and his fight against cancer.

The full list of finalists and their nominations from the Games for Change Festival can be viewed below:

Block’hood, nominated for Best Gameplay
Block’hood is a neighborhood-building sandbox game that presents an ecological take on city planning. Celebrating the diversity of cities, the game invites players into a narrative that builds an understanding of resource dependencies and empathy for the neighborhoods we live in.

DragonBox Numbers, nominated for Best Learning Game
DragonBox Numbers gives children who are at the outset of their math education the foundation they need in order to succeed: a strong sense of numbers and fluency with addition and counting.

Life is Strange, nominated for Best Gameplay, Most Significant Impact, and Most Innovative
Life is Strange is a five-part episodic experience that sets out to revolutionize story-based choice and consequence games by allowing the player to rewind time and affect the past, present, and future. The game handles identity, bullying, suicide, teen pregnancy, love, friendship and everyday dilemmas alongside moments of adventure.

Lumino City (iOS), nominated for Most Innovative
Lumino City (iOS) is a game crafted entirely by hand out of paper, card, miniature lights, and motors – resulting in the construction of a 10 foot high model city. In this setting weaves an enthralling adventure. Lumi’s grandfather has been kidnapped, and to find him you must embrace sustainable living practices and navigate the mechanisms that power this world.

Mission US: City of Immigrants, nominated for Best Learning Game
Mission US: City of Immigrants is the fourth in a series of free digital role-playing games made to immerse students in U.S. history. Players assume the role of a Russian Jewish teen who immigrates to NYC in 1907 and joins the growing labor movement.

NOVA’s Evolution Lab, nominated for Best Learning Game
NOVA’s Evolution Lab is a puzzle game and interactive tree of life that challenges players to build phylogenetic trees, complete missions based off of the evidence for evolution, and explore the connections between over 70,000 species.

Legião dos Super Poderes, nominated for Most Significant Impact
Legião dos Super Poderes is a game designed to change kids’ habits by mixing the real and virtual worlds. Children have to eat healthier and practice physical activities to gain superpowers in-game, evolving their heroes and defeating all enemies.

That Dragon, Cancer, nominated for Best Gameplay and Most Innovative
That Dragon, Cancer is an immersive, narrative video game that retells Joel Green’s four-year fight against cancer through about two hours of poetic, imaginative gameplay that explores themes of faith, hope, and love.

Syrian Journey, nominated for Most Significant Impact
Syrian Journey is a digital project that explores the plight of the Syrian refugees. By choosing their own escape route in a newsgame, the audience takes their own personal dramatic and heart-wrenching journey to face dilemmas based on real-life stories.

The 13th Annual Games for Change Festival will take place from June 23-24, 2016 in New York City at Parsons The New School for Design.
 /  Features Editor
Ryan is the Features Editor at DualShockers, with over five years' experience in the world of video games culture and writing. He holds a BA in English & Cinema from Binghamton University, and lives in New York City.
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