Program Profile

Games for Change

Game Exchange

  • Middle School/Grades 6-8
  • High School/Grades 9-12

Games for Change’s (G4C) Game Exchange is a virtual exchange program for teens in Bahrain, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States in which teens from the four countries join in creative dialogue and collaboration based on a shared interest in video games and game design.

Students join with peers from other countries to form “game studios” and collaborate virtually to create games, facilitated by classroom teachers trained in G4C’s game design curriculum. Each year, participants submit game projects to the Game Exchange competition, with finalists and winners acknowledged at a culminating awards event. Over two years, the program will serve nearly 3,000 students, targeting middle and high school aged youth, with a commitment to reach underserved populations. 


Students join teams or “game studios” charged with creating at least two game projects on a Sustainable Development Goal of their choiceStudents access and learn a variety of tools and platforms to develop their games and collaborate virtually. Mentors from academia, the games industry, and Game Exchange alumni offer feedback and support, and participants can attend in-person and virtual game jams (hackathon-style events where students learn design thinking and spend concentrated time collaborating on game projects). Each year, student teams submit their game projects to the Game Exchange competition.

Program Details
  • Number of Participants: 2,700
  • Participant Age Group: Middle School/Grades 6-8; High School/Grades 9-12
  • Partners in the United States: Georgia – Middle and high schools from Atlanta Public Schools (APS); Michigan – Middle and high schools from Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD); New York – Middle and high schools from the New York City Department of Education. Schools will be selected from the above districts in Spring 2021.
  • Partners in the Middle East and North Africa: Bahrain – Bahrain Ministry of Youth and Sports; Israel – Beit Berl College, Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art; United Arab Emirates– twofour54 Abu Dhabi
  • Project Duration: April 2021June 2023

Game Exchange is implemented by Games for Change and is supported by the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative (JCSVEI). JCSVEI is a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program administered by the Aspen Institute.