Games and Community Building

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Subtitle
Ongoing Evaluation
Publication Date
03/31/11
Program
Journalism & Media Innovation
Community
Biloxi, Macon

GRANT DESCRIPTION

To support Area/Code Entertainment LLC, a cross-media game design firm, to develop a series of games in partnership with local organizations to foster community engagement.

Macon Money: a game in Macon, GA, that uses an alternative form of local currency – Macon Money – to connect residents to each other and to attract and expose residents to local business in the College Hill Corridor and downtown area. The game is being developed in partnership with the College Hill Alliance.

Battlestorm: a game in Biloxi, MS, designed to promote the importance of hurricane preparedness through game activities focused on youth. The game is being developed and implemented in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, United Way of South Mississippi, American Red Cross and Harrison County Emergency Operations Center.

ASSESSMENT PURPOSE & APPROACH

Key Questions

  • What is the effect of the games on community members who participate? Does participation in the game affect participants’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior as intended?

  • What is the role of community partners in the games, and what role can they serve to institutionalize learning and sustain elements of the games?

  • What factors affect game implementation and outcomes and how can these inform broader replication?

  • What can be learned generally about the use and effectiveness of social impact games?

Approach: Qualitative and quantitative research methods will be utilized in the evaluation, including material review, interviews, surveys, participant observation and network mapping.

Assessment Partner: Cause Communications and Arbor Consulting Partners

Project Findings

The formative evaluation launched in March 2011 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011. Findings will be released on an ongoing basis from June 2011 onwards.

Projects discussed in this publication

Area/Code: Macon Money

To support the development and implementation of a game in Macon that uses an alternative form of local currency - Macon Money - to literally connect Macon residents to each other and to the College Hill Corridor in new ways

Battlestorm

To support the development and implementation of a game in Biloxi to increase awareness and change habits towards disaster preparedness in an entertaining and informative way

Area/Code Entertainment

For the research and concept development of community-centric urban games in five Knight Communities

About our Journalism & Media Innovation focus area

Our goal at Knight Foundation is to preserve the best aspects of journalism and use innovation to expand the impact of information in the digital age. 

About our Grant Assessments methodology

As part of our grant making process, program teams work with grantees to establish indicators that will be tracked to provide feedback on project implementation and outcomes. In certain cases, we also partner with grantees to conduct in-depth third-party evaluations to understand the effectiveness and impact of specific projects.