The free online game Quandary yesterday received high honors at the biannual “Meaningful Play” conference, devoted to socially responsible gaming. As Meaningful Play describes it’s mission: “Whether designed to entertain or to achieve more “serious” purposes, games have the potential to impact players’ beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, emotions, cognitive abilities, physical and mental health, and behavior.” A transdisciplinary event, Meaningful Play 2012 brought scholars and industry professionals together to understand and improve upon games to entertain, inform, educate, and persuade in meaningful ways.
Quandry was among games cited for honors, winning the top award in “Most Meaningful” category. In Quandary, players aged 8-14 shape the future of a new society while learning how to recognize ethical issues and deal with challenging situations in their own lives. Players lead a new human colony on a distant planet. They must make difficult decisions in which there are no clear right or wrong answers but important consequences – to themselves, to others in the colony and to the planet Braxos.
Other games to receive awards were DNA Roulette, A Closed World, and Fair Play.