Fun and games for philanthropy and learning

December 19, 2014

The concepts of gamification and newsgames have been around for a few years, and while piling up badges and check-ins can be seen as pointless or even vain, some implementations serve a higher good. In the weekend’s Data Dive, we take a look at some games that promote giving and learning.

The gamification of giving works to help encourage charitable giving by making philanthropy fun. This week PSFK wrote about Makerble, a millennial-targeted startup that highlights the change effected rather than the amount given. Meanwhile the virtual Giving Tower created by philanthropic startup Crowdrise helped an array of causes net over $2 million on #givingtuesday by letting users see virtual towers that grew in height as donations mounted.

In the newsgames realm, the non-profit Games for Change helps provide support and resources for organizations seeking to use games to promote social thought and change. One such game is Parable of the Polygons, in which the act of dragging and dropping “unhappy” squares and  triangles teaches a conceptual lesson in segregation and diversity. Another is Codeacademy, which  endeavors to make learning to code fun by making it an interactive experience instead of a tedious slog. In Citizen Science, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, users get to play the part of a young time traveler in order to learn lessons about fresh water science. Finally, Spent examines economic privilege and the fine line between prosperity and homelessness. You can browse dozens more social and educational games on Games for Change’s games page.



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