Games have been entertaining us for decades, but they have also become a powerful tool for raising awareness for social justice issues. Games have the power to educate, inspire, and spark change in ways other forms of media cannot, and can be used to address issues ranging from inequality, racism, gender discrimination, climate change, and more.
Game developers and players alike have recognized the potential of games as a means of social change that offers a more interactive experience than movies, TV shows, or books. By engaging players in social issues, games can spark conversations and teach players about complex issues in a fun and accessible way.
One example of games used for social justice purposes is “The Migrant Trail”. This game takes players through the journey of undocumented migrants crossing the Mexican border and shows the challenges and dangers they face. This game was developed with the aim of informing players about the real struggles of undocumented migrants and to help raise awareness about the complex issue of immigration.
Similarly, “Never Alone” is a game developed by the Cook Inlet Tribal Council in Alaska with the aim of sharing their heritage and raising awareness of indigenous Alaskan culture. The game follows a young Iñupiaq girl named Nuna as she sets out to save her village from the harsh Arctic climate, all the while teaching players about the Iñupiaq way of life.
Many other games have been created to raise awareness about social issues. These include “That Dragon, Cancer”, which depicts the experience of a family whose child is diagnosed with cancer; “Papers, Please”, which shows the struggles of refugees trying to cross the border; “This War of Mine”, which depicts the horrors of war and its impact on civilians; and “Gone Home”, which deals with LGBTQ+ issues.
Games have also been used to directly support social justice causes and movements. For instance, the “Humble Bundle” platform offers packages of games with the profits being donated to charities or social justice movements. The “Black Lives Matter” bundle offered a collection of games from Black developers, with proceeds going to support the movement. Other similar fundraising initiatives have been organized to support a variety of social justice causes, such as environmental protection, gender equality, and racial justice.
Games have proven themselves to be a powerful tool for raising awareness of social issues and promoting change. As our world continues to evolve and change, so too do the social issues we have to face. Games provide a medium that is uniquely suited to tackle these issues in innovative and engaging ways. They offer a powerful tool for shedding light on important issues, educating people, and bringing about positive change. By leveraging the power of games, we can create a more informed and just society for all.