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Power Play: How Video Games Can Save the World Hardcover – January 31, 2017
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"Highlights a range of 'games for change'―like Re-Mission,...Or the iCivics platform, a game from former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor that lets players make the same decision as lawmakers, judges and Presidents." ―How Video Games Can Save the World, Sarah Begley, TIME
"Practical and inspiring, providing blueprints for success and stories that excite the imagination." ―Library Journal
“This fascinating book shows how much games have to teach not only our children, but our society as a whole. Here’s hoping that the pioneers profiled here inspire a new generation to engage and participate in our political process.”--The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, Retired Supreme Court Justice
“Meticulously researched and deeply compelling, Power Play chronicles the fascinating journey of video games as agents for social change. This is a powerful narrative that will redefine our understanding of games and their role in society.”-- Jane McGonigal, New York Times bestselling author of Reality is Broken and SuperBetter
“Games will change the world - and this fantastic book will help you understand how.”--Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker and TV Producer, Academy Award-nominated director of Super Size Me
“Power Play is the definitive report on the growing success of the movement to make games for change, written by people who helped make it all happen. It is a must read for anyone even remotely interested in games and their power for good.”--Dr. James Paul Gee, author of What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning and Literacy
"A rejoinder to the anti-technological and a solid piece of pop-culture/business journalism."--Kirkus
"We already know the extraordinary power of games to entertain. Burak and Parker prove beyond doubt the even greater power of games to move people to action. And through deep engagement, that games can bring insight into, and help answer, the central questions of our time."--Bruce Hack, former Vice Chairman at Activision-Blizzard
About the Author
ASI BURAK was named one of the “Digital 25: Leaders in Emerging Entertainment” by the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and Variety Magazine for his work with Games for Change. He co-founded and led Impact Games, the creators of the acclaimed PeaceMaker and Play the News.
LAURA PARKER is a journalist who writes about video games and technology for publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair.
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And this book delivers.
Each chapter in the book chronicles the moment in which visionaries from different backgrounds realized that they can use video games as a force for positive changes in their fields. Those who had those visions are far removed from the world of games and their backgrounds could not be more diverse. They include a former Supreme Court Judge, a Pediatric Oncologist, a Saudi Prince, and a Journalist. All created together a path of hope as they understood the engaging power of games. The book celebrates these visionaries and the moment they made power plays.
Excellent and engaging read.
The book is fairly short, but it touches on dozens of stories about different gamemakers. You never really delve deeply into any one story, but that's OK. It's not a book about process. It's a book about possibility, and in that I think it excels. Read it, and learn about some of the game-based learning that's happening out there!
Power Play is a collection of short anecdotes of impact games - games that in some way seek to have a positive impact on the player, whether by having them apply their problem solving abilities to solving real world scientific puzzles, to understanding the role of chemotherapy (and taking one's medication) in fighting cancer. As someone who often sees skepticism about the potential positive impact of video games, this book is an excellent resource in describing how games have impacted health, science, peace and conflict, social affairs, civic education, fiscal responsibility, and empathy building. Not only does it capture the creativity of the designers of these impact games, but it also is rich with evidence - scientific studies, rigorous evaluation, and heartfelt personal narratives - of how the games actually made a difference. If you are interested in learning more about the history of impact gaming and some of the more compelling examples of what the industry has to offer, I definitely recommend reading this book.