Games for Change 2017

For the second year in a row, Isobar participated in the 2017 Games for Change festival exploring how games can impact education, healthcare, research, civics, and social issues. The first two days of the Festival showcased the best and brightest game creators and changemakers with panels and keynotes, demos, networking events, and an expo. New this year, the VR for Change Summit took place on the third day and uncovered the positive power of virtual technologies in storytelling, science, and social justice. The festival explored groundbreaking new games across three tracks: Neurogaming & Health, Civics & Social Impact, and the Games for Learning Summit.

These curated tracks of panels, talks and workshops covered emerging sectors in the games field. Neurogaming & Health explored how games can improve health, fitness, cognitive skills, and mindfulness through interactive experiences and new technologies. Civics & Social Impact highlighted games that help players engage with contemporary issues on matters of social justice, human development, environment and responsible citizenship. The Games for Learning Summit shared new projects and research that evidence the power of game-based learning to transform education in and out of school.

VR for Change was introduced this year to show how virtual technologies affect social change, spark discoveries and tell stories. Participating last year with some of our VR work, Isobar was invited back to showcase our recent work; Project White Cane and Common Ground VR. Project White Cane is an AR experience for people with sight disabilities and Common Ground VR is a virtual reality experience simulating how certain disabilities affect daily tasks. Common Ground VR shows users what it’s like to go grocery shopping in a wheelchair or with a sight disability such as macular degeneration or glaucoma. Participants are challenged to complete the delegated shopping tasks and felt the social impact simulated by the disabilities in VR.

Isobar’s Kevin Kempis gave a talk on VR Hacking: From Innovation to Preservation, discussing how the team at Isobar is fulfilling on the promise of VR, and it’s implications on the education of future generations. His talked surveyed previous Isobar VR projects and how that VR pipeline contributed to virtual art preservation techniques.