[email protected] is a newly launched website that's going to conduct research "into values in games through funding from the National Science Foundation. The team runs workshops, conducts research, and publishes results (papers, tools, videos, game designs, and actual games) on how game designers both unconsciously and consciously imbue their products with specific worldviews and values." I'm curious to see what grows out of this, but first up on their to-do list is running a game contest for playable games that address a variety of issues with a variety of methods:
The contest is accepting PLAYABLE GAMES ON ANY PLATFORM from Flash to Java to Board Games made by teams or individuals. Students, artists, activists, and all others are welcome to participate.
Submissions can be made to one of three categories:
Social Impact: Design a game using and issue, value, and mechanic from the list on our website Community is Revolutionary: Pick a controversy currently under debate in your community and address it with a game Greenwoods: Build a game that explores economic issues such as consumerism inside a fictional big-box retail store
Winners in each category will receive up to 8 Apple iPhones for the team and international recognition in our Games Library, and promotion of their work at the Games for Change 2008 Conference to be held in June 2008 in New York City.
Submissions are due January 1, 2008 at which time judges will begin reviewing entries. Winning games will be archived and promoted by our not-for-profit team.
You can submit entries and find a bunch of games already finished at the Grow-A-Game website.