Games for Better Futures invites you to join our community of practice!

Organizers: Dr. Joost Vervoort, Carien Moossdorff, Kyle Thompson, Mae van Veldhoven (Anticiplay team, Utrecht University); Milica Zec (independent game developer, Tree).

There is more and more interest among game developers, researchers, policy makers, activists and more for developing games that engage with a transforming world. Issues like climate change and how to imagine and realise more sustainable societies have great potential for engaging game play and the growth of game communities. At the same time, commercial games are often still limited in their capacity to help imagine really diverse, exciting new futures. So how do we crack open the future(s) and create exciting and inspiring games in the process?

We believe that developing games to make the world a more sustainable place is a group effort. This is that group. We are uniting game developers (including designers, programmers, visual and sound artists, writers etc.), as well as game funders and publishers, journalists, scientists, policy makers and activists to form a collective for creating games that improve our world’s futures. We believe that together, we can find ways to make this focus on different, inspiring futures viable — commercially and in terms of support structures (funding and publishers, science, support by governments, and more).

What are we aiming for?

We imagine that the community of practice will help identify and organize new sources of funding, new avenues for publishing, new resources to be inspired by, and new games to work on — all in the direction of making games for and about sustainable futures. We will be organizing such projects concretely in the community — and as researchers, we will be looking to provide the resources to help understand how engaging games about sustainability and a transforming world can be built. We want to generate space for free and creative making, to imagine truly new futures, or new ways of looking at existing issues. In particular, we want to challenge the divide between ‘serious’ and commercial games. You can read more about our goals and ideas on this blog.

What will we do?

We are planning for the community of practice to meet once per month live in Utrecht; and once per month online. This community of practice will be a space to brainstorm, to connect or even team up with others, and to adjust our course as a collective. In between meetings, we will run a Discord server. You will be able to use it to work on projects within the community, we can all share inspiring projects or problems — and, of course, memes are appreciated too!

Why you?

You, too, feel that games can contribute to a better world in a way that makes games more engaging as well. You want to be a part of that movement. You may have had the chance to start that already, or not. You have wondered before how to translate your many skills in game creation, in research, in policy, game journalism, or elsewhere to doing some good for the world. You want to connect to other people who feel the same. Membership in the community is not paid; but we are not expecting you to make games in your free time. Instead, our goal is to unite forces to attract funding.

How can I join?

Our first in-person meeting will be on November 1st 2021 from 6PM-9PM CEST at The Joker in Utrecht and our first online meeting will be on November 9th from 7PM-9PM. During the first meeting, we want to get to know each other, and to discuss major themes and action points that people would like to rally around for now.

If you’re interested in joining on the 1st of November, please sign up here, so we can keep track of how many people will be joining.

If you’re interested in joining the online meeting on November 9th, please sign up via this form!

See you there!

The Games for Better Futures team

Anticiplay is an NWO Vidi-funded research project that aims to establish a new design paradigm for the gaming sector in collaboration with CreaTures EU. You can find our mission statement here! Follow us @anticiplay on Twitter, and feel free to engage us with any questions, games that you think are inspiring, and anything else!

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An NWO Vidi research project that explores how games can help imagine and realize sustainable futures - transforming governance and the game sector.

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