DSI Reflecting on Summer 2022’s Community Design for Leaders Course


Faculty Asi Burak of Power Play to Help Launch Skoltech Esports Academy in Moscow

Once a niche phenomenon relegated to cramped computer labs, esports – video-game tournaments played between professional gamers before live and online audiences – has burst into the mainstream. A recent survey conducted by L.E.K. Consulting revealed that at increasing rates, millennials are shirking traditional sports viewership and embracing esports. “Though such events aren’t organized in…

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Sara Cornish is Playing Games for High Stakes

She came to DSI seeking new ways to create social impact, and instantly became a kind of emotional home plate for her cohort; the pioneering first class. She was the connector, the listener, the translator, the always ready smile. It came naturally to her. Now she’s putting all those qualities, as well as what she…

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Faculty Asi Burak: Gamers Have ‘Power as a Movement’

Gone are the days when switching on a video game meant chewing up blinking Pac-Dots or dodging banana peels on a Mario Kart racecourse. As video games have evolved over the past several decades to incorporate the latest technologies available, so, too, has their ability to impact players and generate lasting change, according to a veteran Israeli game creator and social entrepreneur.

Games for Impact Welcomes Cornell Tech

The Games for Impact class, taught by Asi Burak and Toni Pizza, recently presented their first game assignment, in the inaugural class integrating students from Cornell Tech. Students developed a “non-impact” game under assigned creative constraints, in order to practice game-making tools, processes and game mechanics to generate player engagement. The resulting games were an…

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Faculty Asi Burak: How Video Games Can Change the World

The new book, Power Play: How Video Games Can Save The World, by Asi Burak and Laura Parker, was just released. Asi is well known in the game world as the creator of PeaceMaker and the former executive director of Games For Change. For quite a while now, he has been the go-to source for understanding the social impact gaming movement.

DSI Students Test Their Games for Impact

For the past few weeks, we’ve been creating street games as part of our Games for Impact design class. The topics ranged from Hijab’s, the Syrian refugee crisis, voting in America and exploring New York to kids with immobility. Many of our games took advantage of the public parks and cityscape in New York, but others also used the facilities at DSI.

Games for Social Impact are the play of the future, and DSI designers are there.

In Asi Burak and Naomi Clark’s Games for Impact class, DSI students are tackling social problems with the help of games. The class is inspired by the growing field of social impact game design, which addresses any number of social problems – from gender discrimination to electoral awareness to health disparities – with games. Over the course of the semester, students learn to analyze social problems at a systems level, to develop tactics to visualize those systems, and to create appealing ways for people to interact with them. A game’s got to be played, after all.

Games For Change Uses Video Games For Social Projects

DSI Faculty Member Asi Burak was featured in The New York Times about the Games for Change Festival. Read the article originally posted in the NY Times on April 22, 2014.

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