What is Game Changer?
Game Changer is a nerd nonprofit that teaches kids how to learn through games. Now in its third year, Game Changer uses strategic card, board, and role-playing games infused with an educational and social/emotional curriculum to create excitement about learning and growing.
Our founder, Phil Zoshak, wasn’t exactly a model student growing up. He struggled early with reading and writing, was put into remedial classes, and as a result was unmotivated to learn. This all changed with a game. When he was 14, a friend invited him to play a game of Dungeons & Dragons with her friends at a local game store. From the second he picked up the funky-looking dice, he knew this was something he wanted to be a part of. What he didn’t know at the time was that it would change the way he thought about education.
The more he played, the more he learned, picking up the skills he needed to be successful in school, learning became accessible to him through gaming. More importantly still, gaming gave him the confidence he needed to succeed not just in school, but in all aspects of life. Thanks to games like Dungeons & Dragons, Phil was no longer averse to reading and writing. He would become a voracious reader of fantasy novels, which led him to an appreciation for all things literature. Phil would often come home after a night of gaming with his friends and chronicle their adventures of the evening. This little practice would develop into a life-long passion for creative writing. Finally, hanging out with friends and creating a social circle, helped a shy, quiet teenager find the community he longed for. All of these good things came out of a simple game. You could say that learning through play was a Game Changer in Phil’s life…but that would be corny.
Learning through play can open a whole new world for kids, but don’t just take our word. Below are some links to great articles about learning through games like Dungeons & Dragons. If you are more interested in the academic side of gaming in education, please contact us or visit our Programs
– New York Times: Dungeons and Dragons as a Literary Tool
– The Verge: What Dungeons and Dragons is really about
– 10 Reasons Why Roleplaying Games Are a Positive Force for Kids and Adults Alike