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Keeping It Casual

Like the rest of the world, this time last year I found myself swept up in the blizzard of obsession that surrounded the release of Disney’s Frozen.  I bought the soundtrack, saw it in theatres at least three times, and vehemently rooted for it to win the Academy Award (which ultimately happened).  And as the months have passed since its initial release, I've slowly but surely been willing to ‘Let It Go’ when it came to my individual obsession…well...I’ve almost been able to let it go.  In a genius marketing move, piggy-backing off of the popularity of such trendy mobile games like Candy Crush (which I swore I’d never play) or Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Disney released Frozen Free Fall.  An almost identical game as Candy Crush, Frozen Free Fall challenges users to an epic puzzle matching adventure as experienced by the film’s beloved characters.  Recently, when I became aware of the one-year anniversary of the film’s release my jaw dropped, because in tandem I realized that I have been playing Frozen Free Fall for just as long!  I've successfully reached level 260 and have fallen victim to many in app purchases, such as extra lives and power-ups, in order to get one step closer to saving Arendelle from an eternal winter. 

I think it’s safe to say, after a year of dedicated addiction to Frozen Freefall, I am a ‘casual gamer.'  Growing up, I didn't own a gaming console and my parents were not huge video-game advocates, so up until recently the idea of even being described as a gamer seemed foreign to me.  But the truth of the matter is plain and simple, whether I’m waiting in line for coffee, riding the subway or am in between checking emails, I am in fact, gaming.  Imagine my elation when I discovered an on trend organization, making strides to not only appeal to millennial women but also make a difference in the process, all the while curbing my casual game craving - Games For Change.               


Play Games for Change with a Jordan Carlyle Gemstone iPhone case from Shopbop! $24.50

Mission + Millennial Market

Casual gamers aren't as rare as they used to be as developers are able to quickly and easily create mobile phone apps.  Frozen Free Fall combines Disney's fabulous film with the tried-and-tested Triples format made popular by Spin Genie giving the user an action-adventure fee.  But these games hardly accomplished anything other than profiting the developers with the hard-earned money of casual gamers.  Games for Change (aka G4C) has made gaming meaningful.  Games for Change (aka G4C) is simultaneously a movement and a community of gamers and game developers dedicated to utilizing digital games across various platforms to instigate meaningful social change.  Created in 2004, this awesome organization combines the entertainment that innately comes with video gaming and marries it with humanitarian and educational efforts.  By sponsoring and facilitating The Games for Change Festival (the largest annual gaming event in New York City), partnering with the Half the Sky Movement (which works to ‘turn oppression into opportunity for women worldwide’), and creating engaging and educational games, this on-point organization has made making a difference marketable.  As a millennial woman, I'm constantly being challenged to live green, go vegan, support this, go-fund that, volunteer here, boycott there…the productive peer-pressure seemingly goes on and on.  While I for one, am by no means discounting the previously stated causes and actions, Games for Change has managed to carve out a niche in the digital spectrum by marketing 'making a difference' made-easy.  By simply playing a game for change, such as SideKick Cycle, Farm Blitz, Fate of The World, or Half The Sky: The Game - I can make a difference.  It’s as easy as mashing buttons, making matches, or solving a puzzle while I’m waiting on laundry to be done or putting off doing my homework (Oops! But it’s for a good cause right?).  In app purchases go to support global causes, while other games simply exists to educate.  Games for Change has managed to take a strictly gratification based past-time and make it mean something.       


By playing a game for change, such as SideKick Cycle, Farm Blitz, Fate of The World, or Half The Sky: The Game - I can make a difference.


Game Changing G4C Founder

It’s no secret that the world of virtual gaming is an overtly male-dominated field.  Male developers create games for male audiences, market those same games to male consumers, who in turn, continue to purchase even more games from the same male developers.  It’s been a vicious circle from the get-go.  Advertisers know that the male population is the ‘it’ market to appeal to… until Games for Change. The organization itself was co-founded by trendy techie, Suzanne Seggerman, a frontrunner in her field.  As a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Award, The New Voices New Visions Award, and Women Leading in Technology and Politics Award, Suzanne Seggerman broke down technological industry barriers to herald in a refreshing shift in focus for her field.  As the primary voice for the Games for Change Movement, Suzanne has worked to raise awareness about such issues as homelessness, living and coping with HIV/AIDS, women’s rights and women’s health education.

Action + Entertainment 

Be entertained while taking positive action as a casual gamer.  Make an effort for social change by downloading a game for change here.  Whether you call yourself a casual gamer (like me), a die hard fan, or have never even mashed a button before, check out the trending tech that Games for Change has to offer (trust me, it’ll be fun).  I’m letting go of Frozen Free Fall and opting for something substantial - you should too!  


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