Game Development-Based Education Gets a Lift with AMD Foundation Grant to Institute of Play
November 18, 2010

Game Development-Based Education Gets a Lift with AMD Foundation Grant to Institute of Play

Sunnyvale, Calif. – AMD announced the AMD Foundation, in support of AMD Changing the Game, has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Institute of Play for the creation of a social impact game community within the Gamestar Mechanic game development platform.

Gamestar Mechanic, published through a partnership between Institute of Play and E-Line Media, is a new, free, game-based digital learning platform that teaches game design principles, systems thinking and 21st century literacy skills. Gamestar Mechanic features several integrated components, including Game Alley, a Web community for players to publish, review and collaborate on game design with their peers.

The AMD Changing the Game Impact Channel will be a featured element in Game Alley and represents another new vehicle to support youth game development-based education. The AMD Changing the Game Impact Channel, which went live today, will also feature regular game design competitions, with each challenge focusing on a social issue theme of the month, such as energy, the environment or health. The project is targeted toward teens ages 13-18, and is expected to reach thousands of players.

“The Game Alley program and competition are specifically tailored to create successful gaming experiences for youth and to help them engage their peers on important social issues, two key objectives of the AMD Changing the Game initiative,” said Allyson Peerman, president, AMD Foundation. “The program is an excellent example of “stealth learning” in that players will absorb STEM and critical thinking skills while having fun.”

“The AMD Foundation has been a real pioneer in empowering youth through game design,” added E-Line President Alan Gershenfeld, who was formerly Chairman of Games for Change and Senior Vice President at Activision Studios. “We are very pleased to support their mission of harnessing the power of computer and video games to engage youth in the critical issues that will affect their lives in the 21st century.”

The Game Alley competitions are slated to begin immediately and the first challenge runs through Dec. 31. The judging panel will include professional game designers from E-Line Media, representatives from Games for Change, the leading non-profit focused on harnessing the extraordinary power of digital games to address the most pressing issues of our day, along with youth judges from Global Kids, a nationally recognized leader in using digital media to promote global awareness and youth civic engagement. Winners will receive an AMD-based laptop computer.

AMD Changing the Game

AMD Changing the Game is designed to take gaming beyond entertainment and inspire youth to learn critical education and life skills by equipping them to create digital games with social content. The program’s purpose is to promote the use of youth game development as a tool to inspire learning and improve science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills. The initiative is rooted in AMD’s commitment to and experience in supporting education, and the company’s passion and expertise in the graphics processor and gaming industries.

Since its launch in June 2008, AMD Changing the Game has:

• Funded 26 programs by 20 organizations in the United States, China and Malaysia that enable youth game development

• Awarded a grant to San Antonio, TX PBS affiliate KLRN to help enable youth to create games around social issues in, the oldest learning-based virtual world on the Internet.

• Co-sponsored the U.S. National STEM Video Game Challenge and joined Change the Equation in support of the US Educate to Innovate campaign

• Funded the development of a youth game development curriculum with PETLab and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).

• Funded the development of the World Wide Workshop Foundation’s Globaloria game-design program for the Southwest Key’s East Austin College Prep Academy in 2009 and 2010.

• Co-sponsored the Malaysian Cybergames Festival 2010, including the “Dare to Create” digital game design and development workshop

• Funded the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers new video game design category for the 2010 and 2011 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

• Funded Schmahl Science Workshop’s program to develop a sustainable fishing video game to communicate the danger of over fishing to long-term human survival

• Co-sponsored the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Games for Change Festival. The 2010 sponsorship included a day-long workshop sponsored by the AMD Foundation to teach educators about the various tools available for youth game development.