Global Game On: How Video Games Promote World Peace & Diplomacy
San Diego Diplomacy Council, International Game Developers Association Event Features Expert Video Game Developers and Panelists, Live Simulation Game
SAN DIEGO (November 6, 2020): According to a growing group of researchers, diplomats and video game developers, as well as the United Nations, video games – if done right – may just be the future of diplomacy and a peace-making tool that effectively builds empathy, understanding and bridges between global communities.
The San Diego Diplomacy Council’s Fall Signature Event – Global Game On: How Video Games Promote World Peace & Diplomacy – on Friday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. PST serves as the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser and will focus on how digital diplomacy and video games help close divisive gaps around the world.
In the Zoom event, co-hosted with San Diego chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), attendees will be transported from war to peace: Panelists include Lual Mayen, who fled war-torn South-Sudan and spent 22 years in a refugee camp. As founder of Junub games, Mayen now creates video games that build peace. He will be joined by Kate Edwards, a specialist in content culturalization and 27-year veteran of the gaming industry who currently serves as executive director of the Global Game Jam, the world’s largest annual game creation event; and Dr. Constance Steinkuehler, an American professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, currently researches the cognitive and social aspects of video games and gaming, and previously advised on policy matters about video games and learning in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House Executive Office. The event will also feature two representatives from the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with welcome remarks from Assistant Secretary of State Marie Royce and moderation by Joshua Shen, strategic designer for interactive media and games.
Then, in partnership with the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, attendees can witness the concept in action, as high school students in San Diego and Mexico participate in the empathy video game “Among Us,” to promote global dialogue and collaboration. A Q&A with some of the students will follow.
“Our goal at San Diego Diplomacy Council is to connect, inform and empower people and organizations – locally and globally – driving positive changes in themselves, their community and the world. While we can’t have as many in-person meet ups and international visitors and visits right now, we’re seeing the critical need for digital diplomacy for international connectivity and understanding – including through video games,” said Executive Director Fabienne Perlov. “We encourage citizen diplomats, grandparents, parents, high school students and more to attend in order to help promote peace and play video games together!”
“Video games create a safe space for people of different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures to connect, while having fun,” added IGDA San Diego Vice Chair Karen Morrison. “As IGDA believes, and this event demonstrates, gaming provides a platform for authentic communication and a place for global collaboration.”
For over 40 years, the San Diego Diplomacy Council has connected world leaders with local San Diego communities to promote global peace. In 2019, the San Diego Diplomacy Council hosted programs, events and experiences featuring individuals from a total of 148 countries through over 278,000 professional interactions. Participants will be directly supporting these efforts with their event ticket/donation.
The International Game Developers Association is the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization serving all individuals who create games. IGDA San Diego hosts events and leads initiatives, including game jams, workshops, panels and talks, as well as mixers.
Event registration includes free access to a surprise video game. Attendees will also be entered to win a Recipe Exchange Book with recipes from the Diplomacy Council’s international visitors. During the event, local attendees have the option to enjoy dinners showcasing San Diego's diverse cultural background and refugee community made by International Rescue Committee MAKE, available via local pickup.
Tickets are $15 for San Diego Diplomacy Council members and $25 for non-members. Additional add-ons include a private virtual cocktail room for up to six guests for $20, plus a multi-course authentic Sudanese dinner available for pick-up or delivery, which ranges from $45-$73.
For more details or to purchase tickets, visit bit.ly/SDDCgaming.
About San Diego Diplomacy Council
For 41 years, the San Diego Diplomacy Council has focused on creating professional, cultural and educational experiences that connect people and organizations to drive positive change in their communities and around the world.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization is one of more than 90 national organizations designated by the U.S. Department of State to deliver programs and services that allow San Diego to participate in the international diplomacy sphere and extend its influence around the globe. The San Diego Diplomacy Council also offers custom programs and services, including month-long fellowship programs with international business and academic partners.
About the International Game Developers Association San Diego
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization serving all individuals who create games. The organization advances the careers and enhance the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development and advocating for the interests of game developers worldwide. For more information, visit www.igdasandiego.org.
About the North America Scholastic Esports Federation
The North America Scholastic Esports Federation is on a mission to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. Matches are streamed live on NASEF’s Twitch channel. Join online conversations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Sandy Young/ Jean Walcher, J. Walcher Communications
Claire LaBeaux, North America Scholastic Esports Federation