, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 493–505 | Cite as

Making games for social change

  • Mary FlanaganEmail author


This paper provides an overview of creating games for change from within an academic context, focusing specifically on the development of educational computer games for middle school girls. The essay addresses larger issues such as the cultural importance of computer games, the difficulty in categorizing a diverse user group such as “girls,” and the ways in which one could design game goals to promote diverse play and learning styles. Through such alternate design strategies, both media makers and students can incorporate significant social intervention into media work.


Values Game design Education Computer games Software 



There are far too many scholars, designers, technologists, teachers, artists, and children involved in both the RAPUNSEL and Values in Design projects to thank them individually; we must extend gratitude to those who are working with us by grappling with value issues, and encourage efforts for larger social change through both theory and practice. I would particularly like to thank each and every member of the RAPUNSEL team for their dedicated work on the project, especially the students team members, the design partners, and Co-PIs Perlin and Hollingshead. The warmest thanks to Helen Nissenbaum for our productive work on values research in game systems. RAPUNSEL is supported by NSF’s Program Research on Gender in Science and Engineering, HRD0332898. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0332898.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tiltfactor ResearchHunter CollegeNew YorkUSA

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