It’s time to change the conversation about games, says James Portnow.
“Too often do we spend our time defending games,” says James Portnow of Extra Credits fame, “simply talking about ‘why games aren’t bad’, when what we should be discussing is ‘what good games can do’.” With that in mind, Portnow has launched a Rockethub with the express purpose of talking to opinion makers and media outlets, starting a one-man lobbying campaign to change the tone of the conversation about games. He’s looking for an initial $50,000 to get the ball rolling, with expansions to the project planned if he can raise significantly more than that. At time of writing he’s already more than halfway there, with $26,480 raised and 74 days left to go. It’s a solo effort right now, but if Portnow reaches his $75,000 stretch goal, a PR firm will be hired to help promote Portnow’s Games for Good.
He has three main objectives. Portnow wants to start lobbying in DC to stop proposed anti-game legislation, start a ‘games for good’ jam to ensure that more such games are produced, and start lobbying to change the way grants for educational and science games work to make sure that games you’d actually want to play get funded. “Every year I see tens of millions of dollars wasted,” says Portnow, “on games that don’t engage; flash cards with 3D avatars and training simulators that are less engaging than reading the manual.” But communication is at the heart of Portnow’s plan; by creating a dialogue, putting up an alternative to the ‘murder simulator’ trope that the mainstream media still turns to, Portnow hopes to create a better world for gamers.
“I don’t want my nieces and nephews to grow up and have to fight this fight,” Portnow concludes. “I don’t want them to have to be embarrassed about their hobby or live in a world that misses out on all the good games can do because we never really tried to change the conversation.”
Source: Portnow Rockethub.