George Orwell wrote with politics in mind, a concept which he described as a…
…desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other people’s idea of the kind society that they should strive after.
While the Orwell Prize rewards writers, journalists and campaigns for writing which helps with this push, the Orwell Youth Prize focuses on young people. It’s run by The Orwell Foundation, a UK charity.
The 2021 Orwell Youth Prize has been extended so that a game concept or game narrative can be submitted to the annual competition. Young people aged 13 to 18 can take part.
In doing so, The Orwell Youth Prize acknowledges the importance of gaming as a storytelling medium. The lockdown was final proof, with games not just providing escapism and entertainment but also education. Global gaming sales rose 20%, pushing through $180 billion in sales.
Alex Talbott, Programme Manager, The Orwell Foundation, said;
We’re really excited to expand The Orwell Youth Prize into gaming. We believe that gaming and game development is fertile ground for thinking about politics and society so this is a key focus for us as it aligns with our mission to open up the awards to new voices. Gaming offers a new storytelling platform that can offer deep engagement and aid reflection and contemplation alongside an immersive experience, therefore, we think it’s essential to open up the category to this area to reach new storytellers of the future.”
Gaming industry veterans will now give feedback on entries, outlining criteria for judging games by their narrative qualities. These volunteers include Dan Bernardo, Founder of Playtra Games, Imre Jele Co-Founder and Creator-in-chief of Bossa Games, and Charlene Sharp, Head of Games at Way To Blue.
The prize is also supported by Rethinking Poverty: The Webb Legacy, a hub for plans on how to eradicate poverty and create a good society.
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