Survivance Among Social Impact Games


  • Elizabeth LaPensée Simon Fraser University


Studying social impact games can result in many outcomes, such as awareness or action around a social issue. Research can help inform best practices for the design process, strategies for reaching players, game mechanics for aligning with social impact outcomes, and methods for identifying the impact of the game on players and the wider community. One such research project is Survivance (—a social impact game that addresses healing from intergenerational historical trauma experienced by Indigenous communities. Survivance was designed collaboratively with Indigenous game designer/researcher Elizabeth LaPensée and the non-profit organization Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. This paper seeks to contextualize the area of social impact games within the Games for Change movement, compare perspectives on social impact games, and create connections and comparisons with Survivance.