Congratulations to the Winners of the 2020 Games for Change Student Challenge

August 14, 2020

iCivics was thrilled to be a theme partner in this year's Games for Change Student Challenge that asked students to design their own unique online games. This year's competition reached over 1,600 middle and high school students, submitting nearly 1,000 original games. 

Our prompt was called Get the Party Started, asking students to design games that examine party politics and imagine the impact of a third party on the 2020 presidential election. Below is the full prompt:

Envision a new political party and design a game that reveals how your party will successfully enter the 2020 presidential race and change the trajectory of the election.

What would the new party be called? What would your mascot be (Donkeys, Elephants, and more)? What color would represent your party? What is your campaign slogan?  How would you make voters aware of the new party? What strategies would you use to win public support? What would your party do better than the others regarding the environment, schools/standardized testing and raising or lowering the income tax or another issue?

We're pleased to announce the winners for our prompt. Big congratulations to these students from the iCivics team for their creativity and thoughtfulness in the games they created. You can play each of them in the Game Arcade!

Pierre's Party Panic (Grand Prize Winner)
Stick Figure Party (Grand Prize Winner)

It's Debatable
2020: Minigame Madness! 
Party in the USA 
The Race To Limited Power 

We also got the chance to ask the talented students questions about their thinking and why they chose some of the elements of their game. 

Q:​ What iCivics resources did you use as inspiration for your game?
A:​ Probably the biggest inspiration was the ICivics game "Win the White House" which is about running your own presidential campaign. I took the general concept of that game and turned the focus onto a third party that the player creates instead of one of the main parties. - Pierre's Party Panic​ (By Eric M)

A:​ I used the iCivics Resources Page in the Games for Change category “Get the Party Started” to inspire my idea for the game. On that page I read the Key Facts, which stated that the majority of people were dissatisfied with the two major political parties in our country. Within that page, there was also a “Platform” section which inspired the questioning in my game. - Stick Figure Party​ (By Gabriel M)

Q:​ What a big takeaway or learning that you hope people walk away with after playing your game?
A:​ A big takeaway we hope people have is to look at facts from non-biased sources when making political decisions, as this can lead to you making an informed decision. -​ It’s Debatable​ (By Caleb K, Jasmine C, and Wancy C)

A:​ 3rd parties are not very well known compared to the massive giants that are the main parties. If I even make a few people learn about them, I will be happy about what I have done. - Pierre's Party Panic​ (By Eric M)

A:​ When people play my game they see that there is a need for a new political party. Today in America a lot of people are unsatisfied with the Democratic and Republican parties and are forced to choose between the two. Although this is the way our political system is now, this game shows that it doesn’t always have to be like this. - Stick Figure Party​ (By Gabriel M)

Q:​ What was your favorite part of creating your game?
A:​ Our favorite part of making It's Debatable was working together and having fun creating something we were passionate about. Another thing we liked was that as we were working, we learned more about what aspects of game design we were better skilled at. Making this game was a learning experience for us and brought us closer together as friends. - It’s Debatable​ (By Caleb K, Jasmine C, and Wancy C)

A: This game was one of the most complicated games I have created. It was a fun challenge to find ways to make this game work, especially making every individual state have its own data that can be easily accessed by the player was very difficult. It was a learning experience. - Pierre's Party Panic​ (By Eric M)

Q: ​Did you share your game with your family and friends -- did they have any reactions to the game?
A:​ I showed the game to my immediate family and below were their responses. - Stick Figure Party​ (By Gabriel M)

I thought that Gabriel's game, Stick Figure Party was clever. His funny stick figures were generic enough to be inclusive of all peoples and opinions. He created a game that took important current political topics such as the environment, mass shootings, and taxes and allowed the user to create their own political party from the perspective of their personal platform. I enjoyed being interviewed by the "press" and the political advertisement that was generated from my views. - Margie M, "Gabe's mom"

I was a fan. - Zachary M, "Gabe's brother"

I found this game to be a well thought out, and insightful view to politics. His accomplishment showed a strong creative lense, and I am quite looking forward to seeing what comes next. - Bruce M, "Gabe's dad"