Podcast: Gaming for Good at the Games for Social Change Workshop

Welcome to our latest podcast episode about the Engagement Lab, an applied research facility at Emerson College focusing on the development and study of games, technology, and new media to enhance civic life.

For this podcast episode, we interviewed Mariko Davidson and Sam Liberty about Games for Social Change, a game development workshop that takes place in Egypt each summer. Created in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), GESR and the Engagement Lab, the workshop teaches citizens how to design games for social and political impact, as well as serious development problems. Some of the games are digital, some are made from paper, but they all serve a common purpose: to create change where it’s needed most.


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About Mariko Davidson

As managing director at the Engagement Lab, Mariko traveled to Egypt to host the Games for Social Change Workshop. Mariko is an urbanist and civic entrepreneur who has been leading and designing successful civic programs in the U.S. and internationally for seven year. She previously launched civic programs at the East-West Center and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. She holds a Master’s in city planning from MIT.


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About Sam Liberty

Sam is the chief game officer and lead writer for the Engagement Lab. His other Engagement Lab projects include Community PlanIt and Civic Seed. He co-founded Spoiled Flush Games design studio, through which his designs took top prizes at Game Chef 2011, as well as at the 2010 Rio Grande game design competition. Games include Forsooth, Gladiators (Rio Grande), and Cosmic Pizza (Cambridge Games Factory). Sam has been featured in the Boston Globe and spoke at TEDxBoston 2012.


Photo Credits: ©Abdelhamid Ezzat/UNDP Egypt

More podcasts about educational games at the Engagement Lab:

Podcast: Interview with Eric Gordon at the Engagement Lab

Podcast: Community PlanIt

Podcast: Handwashing with Ananse in Ghana

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren is the General Manager of EdTech Times. A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.