Power Play: How Video Games Can Save the World

The authors – game developer Asi Burak and journalist Laura Parker – wrote Power Play because they have discovered an unusual solution to all of our troubles: when worries strike, open the computer and start playing or (even better) start developing a great game!

Asi Burak is the Chairman of G4C, a company that uses good games to make the world a better place. He has studied at the Carnegie Mellon University and has a Master in Entertainment Technology.

The creator of PeaceMaker, a game that was built with the goal of bringing peace in the Middle East, discusses several games and game ideas that aren’t just fun, but have a clear, useful purpose. And the fact that Asi is a game developer himself shows clearly throughout the book! He goes through several game ideas that aren’t explored yet, or at least haven’t been explored to their full potential.

Is game development an industry that’s still in its infancy? Most people would give a negative answer, but Power Play is so full of interesting examples that it may change your perception. And its focus on games that can have a positive social impact is very refreshing.

Chapters include “The story of PeaceMaker”, “The story of iCivics”, “The story of Macon Money”, “The story of New Arab Media”, “The story of the Half the Sky Movement”, “The story of Re-Mission”, “The story of Foldit and crowdgaming”, “The story of NeuroRacer and Project Evo”.

With so many examples of games that have the potential to empower us to do good, the authors wanted to make sure that at least some of the readers will join their cause. The “Tools of a New Generation” section of the book lists powerful tools that can be used by aspiring game developers to create great games.

Virtual reality gaming has its dedicated chapter as well. The authors mention a VR project named Machine To Be Another, which was built by a group of students in Spain a few years ago. The project allowed people to swap bodies – virtually, of course. It’s an interesting idea, because it allows people to see themselves – and others! – from another perspective.

If you’ve ever been interested in using games to influence mental – and yes, even physical – well-being in a positive way, this book is for you. Power Play takes passion for game development towards new frontiers, encouraging the young generation to create projects that can make significant changes, improving people’s lives.

Power Play is now available in bookstores.

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