Today at the 2011 Games for Change Festival, former vice president Al Gore took to the stage to deliver the event's keynote speech. He talks about how video games are becoming the norm, and that their widespread appeal can be used to help solve societal problems.
"Games have clearly arrived as a mass medium," said Gore. "This is a very large, extremely significant industry with a wildly diverse and rapidly growing audience of players on all kinds of platforms. We already know the immense power of popular media to illuminate issues that can seem intractable and overly complex, but [through games] can be illuminated and presented to general audiences in a way that invites people to become involved in trying to solve the problems that our society has to solve."
Gore cites two social games, Trash Tycoon and Oceanopolis, as inspirational to him. Both games focus on cleaning up the world we live in and making it a better place. He also gives Sims creator Will Wright a shout out, citing his interactive series on Current TV, Bar Karma, as being a “unique piece of software that allows people to create ‘story genomes’ and then vote on the path the plot takes.”
It’s good to see a politician praising the positive elements and potential that games have for once. We have enough congressmen and women carrying torches and pitchforks these days.