One of the best streams we’ve been able to swim in over the last year has been the growing conversation called “Gaming for Good” or “Serious Play.” in that vein I had the honor of speaking at Serious Play in Seattle, the NRB conference in Nashville and now we’re scheduled to speak at Casual Connect in July; while these conferences are organized around a wide variety of topics, we’ve had the chance to bring the serious play concept to all of them – and it’s something we’re very, very excited by. (which shouldn’t be a surprise given who we are…)

At the heart of the conversation is this question:
How do we use all this cool gaming tech and technique to do something more meaningful than killing time?

Enter SOBCon and Global Hope Network International. We met Jeff Power of GHNI at last year’s SOBCon NW and this year…in fact at the moment I’m writing this…Jeff is sharing at this year’s SOBCon Chicago about a project we started planning about three months ago, a game tentatively called MyNGO.

I don’t want to give the pitch here, there is plenty of time for that later. Instead I just wanted to give a shout out to a growing connection between for-profit orgs and non-profit orgs who all see a common ground in gaming. GHNI is the one we’re fired up for tonight because Jeff has the spotlight. But a month ago we were hanging out with the folks at First Robotics and were equally excited to build a bridge there.

Gaming is in a unique place to build a transparent and natural bridge between entertainment and activism. Stories like Zynga’s donation to the Japan Tsunami relief is only one of a growing chorus. This can be really transformational! As a demographic, gamers want to be a part of something bigger than themselves and a well executed way for their level grinding to build wells, plant crops, or deliver medicine to folks who need it…that’s an idea worth making some serious sacrifice to bring to reality.

Good hunting Jeff! And a big thanks to Terry Starbucker (St. Marie) and Liz Strauss for the awesome work you’re doing at SOBCon.

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