A national security collaborative is bringing a “Nuclear PopUp! Lab” to Chicago tech hub 1871, and it’s giving gamers a chance to win $10,000 for game ideas that address the risk of nuclear weapons.
N Square, a $2.4 million pilot program funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, and the Skoll Global Threats Fund, wants to start a conversation and discover new ideas about how to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons. The organization, alongside Games for Change, is taking its pop-up across the country and is stopping in Chicago this weekend, where it is asking the tech community and game designers to conceptualize a game that will educate people about the threat of nuclear weapons.
The 48-hour Nuclear Risk Game Jam begins Saturday at 1871, and participants will go through brainstorming and rapid prototyping sessions before pitching their ideas to representatives from N Square and Games for Change.
“Games are an excellent medium and a very powerful tool for educating and teaching people things about complex issues,” said Morgan Matthews, Program Manager and Design Strategist at N Square. “The consequences of using a nuclear weapon are not accurately portrayed in the video games we have today.”
Along with the Game Jam, N Square will also have exhibits and workshops at 1871 focused on solutions and challenges relating to nuclear disarmament.
“We’re trying to build a network of influential innovators across sectors and we want them to think about this issue, because it’s incredibly important,” Matthews said. “Nuclear weapons could kill millions and millions of people within minutes. The damage and destruction that those weapons could cause is unimaginable.”
N Square says participants don’t need any prior game design experience or nuclear weapons expertise to take part in the challenge. “You supply the idea, and we’ll design the game,” the organization says.
You can learn more about the N Square challenge here.
Image via N Square