Raising Good Gamers to Positively Transform Culture of Online Games for Youth

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Raising Good Gamers Partners with TED-Ed to Elevate Young People’s Ideas at First-ever Games for Change Youth Summit in 2021

NEW YORK (July 14, 2020) – Raising Good Gamers, a new initiative to change the culture of online gaming for youth, launches today, including a year-long campaign with TED-Ed that will culminate with the first-ever Games for Change Youth Summit in 2021. This new initiative is made possible by a $100K grant from the Susan Crown Exchange.

Raising Good Gamers, led by Games for Change and The Connected Learning Lab, is a cross-sector initiative bringing together game developers, policy makers, researchers, parents, educators and youth to create a sustainable movement aimed at raising a more kind, civically engaged, pro-social generation of players.
Raising Good Gamers will choose 30 middle and high school students to participate in a TED-Ed program that will give the teens the opportunity to develop their voice around the culture of online games and their role in it. Raising Good Gamers and TED-Ed will then select five of the students to receive one-on-one coaching by TED-Ed coaches and a mainstage speaking opportunity at the inaugural 2021 Games for Change Youth Summit (anticipated for June 2021). Selected talks will also be featured on the TED-Ed Student Talks YouTube channel. 

“TED-Ed is on a mission to celebrate and amplify the voices of young people around the world. We believe this generation’s creativity, their art, their questions, their play — this generation’s ideas will define the future of our world. While Raising Good Gamers aims to build kinder, more civically engaged gamers, TED-Ed believes the most powerful tool for making that happen are the ideas and voices of those gamers,” said Ashley Kolaya of TED-Ed.
Raising Good Gamers believes the promise and potential of games and new media as spaces of learning, social exchange, and civic engagement among youth cannot be realized without a shared public agenda addressing the growing problem of toxicity online.
“We have an obligation and an opportunity to create a positive digital culture and climate for our youth so that they can use games and new media as safe and dynamic places for learning, social, civic engagement and fun,” said Katie Salen Tekinbaş of The Connected Learning Lab.
Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change added, “We have long imagined an event just for teens, and with support from TED-Ed and the grant from the Susan Crown Exchange, we are bringing that vision to life with the first Games for Change Youth Summit in 2021 featuring youth experts from Raising Good Gamers.”

Raising Good Gamers will be introduced at this year’s Games for Change Festival, during an announcement with program organizers Katie Salen Tekinbaş and Susanna Pollack on July 14 at 1:45pm ET. There will also be a fireside chat on July 15 at 12:30pm ET with Laura Higgins from Roblox and Katie Salen Tekinbaş about teens’ experiences with online gaming during the pandemic, as well as a panel at 6:15pm ET to explore the design of online play communities for kids, and a research roundtable on July 16 at 1:30pm ET to discuss how kids are engaging with each other online. Register for the now virtual and free Games for Change Festival here to attend the Raising Good Gamer sessions.

About Games For Change
Since 2004, Games For Change (G4C) has been empowering game creators and innovators to drive real-world change, using games and immersive media that help people to learn, improve their communities, and contribute to make the world a better place. G4C partners with technology and gaming companies as well as nonprofits, foundations and government agencies, to run world class events, public arcades, design challenges and youth programs. G4C supports a global community of game developers working to use games to tackle real-world challenges, from humanitarian conflicts to climate change and education.

About The Connected Learning Lab
The Connected Learning Lab (CLL) is dedicated to studying and mobilizing learning technologies in equitable, innovative, and learner-centered ways. Connected learning is a uniquely interdisciplinary and cross-sector approach that brings together the learning sciences, social sciences, design, informatics, and computing to develop new research frameworks, engage in pressing real-world problems, and develop and test breakthrough innovations. The CLL investigates both formal and informal learning settings and supports connection and alliance building across varied institutions and sectors.

About the Susan Crown Exchange
The Susan Crown Exchange (SCE) works to prepare youth to thrive in a rapidly changing, highly connected world. SCE primarily supports organizations that operate in out-of-school time, prioritizing initiatives that promote social and emotional learning and explore the relationships between technology and society. What unites all of SCE’s partners is their commitment to creating opportunities for young people.

About TED-Ed
TED-Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative. TED-Ed’s mission is to spark and celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world. Everything we do supports learning — from producing a growing library of original animated videos , to providing an international platform for teachers to create their own interactive lessons, to helping curious students around the globe bring TED to their schools and gain presentation literacy skills, to celebrating innovative leadership within TED-Ed’s global network of over 500,000 teachers. TED-Ed has grown from an idea worth spreading into an award-winning education platform that serves millions of teachers and students around the
world every week.
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