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Entertainment Software Association Promotes Civics, Cancer Research, and International Diamond Hunting

Posted on Friday, March 7 @ 10:30:00 PST by

The Entertainment Software Association doesn't just lobby in support of video game consumer rights, it promotes games for change, a subject I'm growing more and more interested in, especially when three titles promoted in the ESA's March 2014 news letter sound so encouraging.

Take Play to Cure: Genes in Space, for example. Pictured above, Play to Cure is a free iOS and Android game that allows payers to add to the growing research around cancer. Players actually help researchers by "coding vast amounts of data about cancer genes as they play."

To do that, players just navigate a spaceship to collect "Element Alpha" which allows players to use equipment and tools. Players explore valleys and mountains, but they're actually helping to map the genome that could identify cancer.

The next game drops players into a colorless world where they have to interact and plant new vegetation to bring color back. Civic Seed gives players opportunities to interact with others to earn new plants, but there are also plenty of opportunities to learn about morals, ethics, goals, and overarching civic engagement.

Following completion of the game, students are given the opportunity to volunteer, build a profile, and get their names in front of community organizers for opportunities in public development.

Next up is Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond. This title is aimed at younger players and gives them the opportunity to travel all around the world looking for pieces of the Hope Diamond, but they'll be racing against thieves as they go.

The Smithsonian is also releasing Shutterbug: Wiggle and Stomp for younger gamers. The title fits within national education standards and features Ada, a zookeeper who needs to keep a lookout for animals and what they're doing.

The ESA says that "both games underscore the Smithsonian's recognition of video games as cultural artifacts and educational tools, which also includes 'The Art of Video Games', a first-of-its-kind exhibit that explores the rich history and evolution of video games."

For more on the ESA advancement of video games in the public, visit
Related Games:   Play to Cure: Genes in Space

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