Games for Change has announced the nominees for its 2013 Games for Change Awards. Rather than the “Best Visual” and “Best Voice Acting” and the like that we're used to seeing from more standard kinds of video game awards, these are divided up into the categories of “Most Innovative” and “Most Significant Impact”, as well as “Best Gameplay”.
For “Most Innovative”, the nominees are Blindside, Nevermind, and Jewish Time Jump. Blindside is a Kickstarter-funded audio adventure that hides the visual aspects of the game world from you, inspired by one of the creator's experience of being temporarily blinded in a chemistry accident at school. Nevermind is a psychological horror game that uses biofeedback to enhance the gameplay. Jewish Time Jump is an augmented reality game (ARG) that uses geolocation as players travel back in time to explore Jewish and American history.
For “Most Significant”, the nominees are Data Dealer, Eskom Energy Planner, and The Republia Times. Data Dealer is a game about collecting and selling personal data. Eskom Energy Planner is a game in which you take over the power plan of a virtual city and try to balance efficient technologies with those that are environmentally friendly. The Republia Times casts you as the editor-in-chief at a newspaper.
For “Best Gameplay”, the nominees are Reach for the Sun, Quandary, and The Republia Times. Reach for the Sun is a game in which you help a seedling to grow and reproduce before winter. Quandary has you “shape the future of a new society while learning how to recognize ethical issues and deal with challenging situations”.
We'll know which games have won in each category, and which gets Game of the Year, on June 18.