Games can be an effective and compelling way of teaching and learning about the issues facing communities and individuals. They afford a method of engagement that is fun, active, and that encourages participants to think more deeply about issues and challenges.
See also <a href="/topics/education">education</a>.

The Politics behind Babycastles

 Babycastles curates, hosts, and install independent games made by small groups of people or individuals around New York City and around the world, creating an arcade setting for people of all ages and identities to experience games.


Speaking to us about Babycastles is Syed Salahuddin, an adjunct professor at the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and NYU Polytechnic and instructor at the Institute of Play. He has also taught at the MoMA Teens Program and the Museum of the Moving Image. Syed joins us for the MIT Media Lab's diversity speakers series.

Leo Bonanni exposes the backbone of globalization with SourceMap


Check out the new My Dot Tour video!!

The My Dot Tour video is now live on YouTube at or embedded at Have look:

Shot and edited by Igor Kharitonenkov in very short order, this 4-minute documentary gives an excellent summary of the My Dot Tour initiative. Props to Kate Balug (GSD alum, co-founder of the Dept. of Play, and a good friend of the Center) for all of her incredible work on this project!

The MIT Center for Civic Media contributed in the overall planning of the project and with the implementation of the technical infrastructure that supported the neighborhood tours. In particular, this project proved to be a good application of the Center's VoIP Drupal platform, an open source framework that makes it easier to build communication systems that integrate phone, SMS and web together (


Interactive and social Map for local communities to empower news, petitions, building project discussions, tweets and display them in geographic context

Kristofs Blaus

Communications Forum: "What's New at the Center for Future Civic Media"

MIT Center for Future Civic Media Director Chris Csikszentmihalyi presents the Center's most recent projects. From community mapping to news tracking, from collective action to rural empowerment, from cultural mixing to carbon consciousness, civic media is any technology or technique that strengthens a geographic community. Civic media researchers will demonstrate their projects in a lightning-round format, with time for discussion and questions following each presentation listed below.

Presentations include:

Round-up of all the Knight News Challenge fun

We've had to remain largely mum on the Future of News and Civic Media Conference, just held this week here at MIT--such is the reality of a popular-but-invitation-only conference and one whose big news, the announcement of the 2009 Knight News Challenge winners, was embargoed until the last minute.

But I'd like to use this here website that I manage to thank the 200+ attendees, especially those from the Knight Foundation, for an amazing three days of barcamps, camaraderie, invention, and, of course, prize-giving.

Here, assembled, is but a slice of news about the conference.

The winners:
The attendees:
Photos by Knight's Kristen Taylor of new Challenge winners...

Citizen Media Law Project

The Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP) provides legal assistance, education, and resources for individuals and organizations involved in online and citizen media. The CMLP also provides research and advocacy on free speech, newsgathering, intellectual property, and other legal issues related to online speech.

David Ardia

Remembering 7th Street

A re-creation of Oakland’s once vibrant 7th Street blues and jazz club scene as an online video game and virtual world. The multi-player game allows people to experience the club scene as it was in its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, before it fell victim to redevelopment schemes and urban decay. The project was a Knight News Challenge recipient in 2007.

Paul Grabowicz