NZGDA and US Embassy team up for social change-focused gaming event


The New Zealand Game Developers Association and the US Mission to Aotearoa New Zealand are teaming up to create Koia Jam, a game jam competition designed to get New Zealand thinking about tackling bullying, harassment and misinformation in line.

While there have long been policies, infrastructure and regulations in place to keep children safe on playgrounds and in vehicles, there are few safeguards for online places where young people spend quality time. longer and longer. This has led to a proliferation of misinformation, misinformation and cyberbullying over the past decades, and has had countless mental health consequences.

Video games have long been a place for learning, social exchange, and connecting with people online, and their potential for social change has only recently been explored. Games like “Concrete Genie” and organizations like Games for change
empowered a new generation of game creators and social innovators to fight toxic online cultures.

“Stimulating social change through media is incredibly difficult, but there are few mediums more suited to the challenge than games. Koia Jam will provide people with the opportunity to explore the themes of disinformation and online safety. engaging way and to spark critical thinking on complex issues,” said NZGDA Chair Chelsea Rapp.

Koia Jam is a 48-hour game jam, a time-limited hack-a-thon where small teams attempt to create a playable game in a single weekend. Game Jam competitions can be intensely social experiences, relying on close, functional teamwork.

“Bullying and the spread of misinformation are global challenges, including in the gaming world. These are some of the biggest barriers to connecting online these days in Aotearoa New Zealand and the United States. United. We are proud to partner with NZGDA for Koia Jam 2022 to spread a message of positivity and inclusion online. Let’s play games and have fun together,” said US Ambassador Tom Udall.

Taking place November 25-27, Koia Jam also features a series of web interviews with New Zealand game developers who discuss the idea of ​​driving social change through game development. These can be found on the NZGDA Facebook page. Learn more about Koia Jam or register your team by visiting

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Jennifer R. Strohm