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Leveraging Games in the Fight to Protect Local Cultures

Catherine P. Foster  (Program Director , Cultural Antiquities Task Force, U.S. Department of State)

Kate Edwards  (CEO / Executive Director, Geogrify / Global Game Jam)

Paul J. Fischer  (Senior Program Officer / Contractor, Cultural Antiquities Task Force, U.S. Department of State))

Victor Bankler  (Lecturer / Game Designer, University of Skövde / An Otter Team)

Vania Castagnino  (Event Coordinator / Creative Director, Sweden Game Arena / An Otter Team)

Joaquin Concha  (Game Developer / Artist, Kay Pacha Studio)

Mateo Alayza  (Game Director / Lecturer, Hermanos Magia / University of Lima)

Location: Room 3014, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 24

Time: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Plus Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

Transnational organized crime, armed non-state actors, and, increasingly, the effects of climate change are fueling the destruction or illegal trade of cultural artifacts and traditions. Protecting heritage requires strong collaboration among governments, preservationists, and everyday citizens in communities around the world -- and the tech industry can offer innovative solutions.

Global Game Jam partnered with the U.S. Government’s Cultural Antiquities Task Force (CATF), led by the U.S. Department of State, to create the Cultural Heritage Game Jam in November 2021. The Cultural Heritage Game used the powerful medium of games to raise awareness about the importance of cultural heritage to local communities. The jam was a great success, with about 900 developers participating from 72 countries to create 116 games.

Come hear this engaging panel session that will discuss why the State Department considers games a powerful tool for combatting threats to cultural heritage and see the outcome of the jam itself with examples of some of the solutions created by the global developer community. Most importantly, meet the jam team that created the winning game "Purunmachu: Whispers of the Chachapoyas" based on pre-Columbian Peruvian cultures. They will discuss their work and how their game grapples with the complex issues of cultural heritage looting, protection, and community values.


Attendees will learn the great benefits of partnering with organizations (governments, NGOs, etc.) and local game developers to create unique methods and approaches to emphasize the importance of protecting local culture and history.

Intended Audience

Anyone interested in the positive impact of game can have in supporting and protecting local cultures.