National Endowment for the Arts Now Funds Games
The NEA website describes the grants they made for some very cool projects, including four games.
In addition to the Art Works grants, 78 projects are recommended in the Arts in Media category for a total of $3.55 million. The NEA received 329 eligible applications under the Arts in Media category, requesting more than $36 million in funding. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000 with an average grant amount of $45,513 and a median of $40,000.
The NEA launched this pilot program in May 2011, recognizing that while television and radio remain the dominant ways many people experience art, there is also significant activity and promise in the nexus of arts, science, and technology. The goal of the program is:
- to support the creation of new media arts work and
- to provide more opportunities for audiences to experience artworks.
A key characteristic of the Arts in Media projects is their diversity, both in terms of artistic discipline — projects range from dance to visual arts — and in platform, or the way audiences interact with the artworks. In addition to supporting programs and series targeted for television and radio, the NEA will support projects involving interactive websites, mobile phone and tablet apps, multimedia and transmedia (multi-platform storytelling) projects, and those which will be seen in movie theaters. Many Arts in Media projects will weave together several disciplines and platforms — cutting across boundaries to create new art and cultivate new audiences.
[And games! Specifically, these four:]
Games for Change New York, NY $75,000 To support the development, production, and hosting for a game for Facebook based on the book, Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Half the Sky, the book, documents the true stories of women around the world who ultimately overcome tremendous obstacles. In the game, players will be responsible for the safety and well-being of their own village by focusing on economic factors, physical security, health, and education.
Let’s Breakthrough, Inc. New York, NY $75,000 To support the development of an interactive video game for social change. The video game will use various art forms and pop culture conventions (animations, music, documentary videos, graphic art) to engage general audiences with a particular focus on youth in a creative exploration of democracy, diversity, and social change. The game will be playable both online and as a mobile app.
Spelman College (aka Digital Moving Image Salon) Atlanta, GA $100,000 To support HERadventure, a multi-episode, augmented reality computer game. Targeted to young women ages 18-25, HERadventure’s story focuses on a young female superhero sent to Earth to save her own planet from devastation because of climate change. The game will be designed to be accessible online, on mobile platforms, Facebook, and Twitter.
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA $40,000 To support production costs for a video game based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. The player will inhabit an open, three-dimensional game world which will simulate the geography and environment of Walden Woods. Once developed, the game will be available online.