When the Game Changer Movement was born, our goal was to inspire youth to trade in at least 1,000,000 violent video games that we physically transform into art, furniture, signs and even dresses! Until now, we did not have the answer to the question, “What would inspire today’s youth to trade in their violent video games?” The answer lies in answering the question, “Why are they playing violent video games in the first place?” In the beginning, I thought that we, as a society, were addicted to violence. This is not really true! We are addicted to or driven by the desire to feel significant, accomplished and part of a larger community. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano, in their book Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie, and Video Game Violence, state that today’s violent video games give all those who play, a sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The great educator, John Dewey exclaims that “the environment teaches.” We have virtualized the environment and the lessons for today’s youth! We have combined true to life graphics with the ability for our kids’ friends to have play dates without leaving their own living room or bedroom. This gives today’s parents a false sense of safety and security, because at least we know where our kids are…right? Our kids can be VIRTUALLY ANYWHERE!
The truth is, we are allowing our kids to learn how to shoot and kill other people for hours on end…on our watch! There is a huge body of research asking questions about how violent video games are effecting our youth. Do they make kids more aggressive, violent, anxious, desensitized, and disconnected? After careful review of much of the research, we have noticed 2 trends. First, fMRI research is revealing a definite short term connection between exposure to violent video games and activating areas in the brain that are responsible for controlling emotion and aggressive behavior in youth who play violent video games for at least 10 hours a week. Second, if we look at the school shootings themselves; there are some stark commonalities that tie them all together including a long history of playing violent video games to the point where the shooters trained fully for the actual shooting incident in the virtual environment. There is one instance where the shooter had never touched a real gun until he stole one, the day before the shooting took place!
Gaming and gamification is one of the world’s most effective learning modalities! Lt. Col. David Grossman is convinced that today’s violent video games are training our military and our youth how to kill. Eighty-nine percent of the most frequently played video games contain some aspect of violence according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s and Gloria DeGaetano’s book, Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill. The difference is: in the military, there are safeguards and consequences for shooting at the wrong target or shooting too quickly. There are no such safeguards for our youth!
WHAT IF we could collectively, and collaboratively create a gaming platform that redirects our youth towards playing games that answer the large questions and challenges that our world needs us to address including; global warming, water scarcity, renewable energy, and poverty?
Currently, there are several games that are doing just this that are crowd-sourcing real-world, real-time solutions including games such as Fold It, EteRNA, and Malaria Spot. What I love about these exemplars is that players are feeling a deep sense of significance as they make real-world contributions to science, medicine and innovation. Another amazing detail to point out, is that some of the world’s best protein folders, malaria spotters, and RNA synthesizers come from the youth community! Imagine if the billions of hours spent playing Angry Birds, were redirected into games that solved societal challenges! Humanity currently spends 3 Billion hours a week playing video games, which is an amazing opportunity to create what we call a play or gameforce! Imagine if there were an intentional community of youth who, intentionally changed their game and started gaming on the platform we all create together!
Much like what happened with EteRNA, where some of the RNAs that were designed by the gamers were actually synthesized in the real world, the Game Changer Movement is going to introduce the properties of Graphene into the game space(Likely MineCraft). We will then synthesize some of the innovations and perhaps explore ways to bring new products to the world, which is a concrete way to realify the game world, and gamify the real world. Graphene is a 2-dimensional substance that is poised to disrupt many industries all at once, and my belief is that Graphene investigation and innovation may be better suited for youth who are not yet entrenched in the way things are or were vs. the way things can be. We are committed to bringing conscious solutions to the world that will replace some of the products that are currently filling our landfills and depleting our planet’s resources underneath our feet.
We will be working with a panel of specialists who will help to ensure that we are creating a platform that allows for the most authentic experience when it comes to working with graphene and any other materials that we embed into the gaming space. We have recently attended a Hack Day, hosted by Hack Manchester in the UK and we witnessed what is possible to create within one weekend! The Hack Day also introduced us to people who are uniquely qualified to help move this vision forward. In June, We were endorsed by Robert Murray-Smith, who is known on YouTube for his DIY approach to graphene and graphene paint and other corollaries.
WHAT IF we could find creative ways for corporations and perhaps governments to actually pay people to play games that make a difference in the world or answers the questions that companies want answered?
Large corporations are starting to gamify some of their internal processes and turn them into publicly facing contests. Netflix did this to enhance their selection algorithm, which then created more loyal members, since the suggested un-watched movies were more meaningful to the member. A mining company exported data to create a contest that asked entrants to locate the next huge deposit of gold. Without even visiting the location in person, the winning team was able to locate the deposit and win the contest, and the company spent pennies on the dollar in order to find it! The Game Changer Movement is going to explore creative ways to collaborate with companies and organizations who have challenging questions to answer, and we are going to host Hack Days that design the games that will answer these new kinds of questions. My belief is that we will be able to do it for a fraction of the cost that is currently being spent on consulting and other expensive solutions.
This is truly a numbers game! The more eyeballs and mind in the mix, the more iterations we can generate. This is where the Game Changer Movement gets to change the game of innovation and research. We are bringing together a group of people with a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, lenses, and the world views which will allow us to co-create from a great space. This will replace the old model where like-minded people gathered to create solutions for a diverse set of challenges. Now, the diversity will be baked into the beginning of the process, and the gaming space will allow the diverse group to self select into arenas where their micro-skill sets are able to shine. Eventually, we will employ innovative ways to compensate gamers who excel within this space.
WHAT IF the games we create; orthogonally disrupt our current education system, our current consulting practices, and even our wellness habits?
The internet of things will present tremendous opportunities for new meaningful connections between the human and virtual experience. The games we create can gamify the real world and realify the game world! Imagine a game where the number of steps on a Fitbit would create a new experience in the virtual game world. Juvenile diabetes, and other lifestyle diseases would be disrupted because leveling up in the virtual world, would require achieving some new level of fitness. We have a huge opportunity and the stakes have never been so high!
We are literally Changing the Game!
Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar, wrote a book called Peers, Inc. and spoke of this amazing concept of ‘excess capacity’. She describes new business platforms and businesses that reorganize, in essence; the things we already have, including Air BnB, Uber, and of course, Zipcar. There are 40 million children between 8 and 18 at this point in time, and 90 percent of them play video games! On average, they spend 10,000 hours playing video games before they reach the age of 21. Malcolm Gladwell discusses in his book, Outliers, that 10,000 hours of focus delineates a threshold that denotes a level of mastery that created the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Many additional hours are also being spent watching YouTube videos of people playing games. That said, we now have a generation of youth who are getting to mastery in video gaming before they reach the age of 21. Here, in lies the huge excess capacity of human potential trapped in the form of billions of gaming hours! These hours can be applied to games and gaming experiences that solve real world, real-time challenges. Gaming can also be used to disrupt the current education system and can also be instrumental in the era of Big Data that we are currently beginning!
The Game Changer Movement aims to create a community of at least 1,000,000 youth who are courageously willing to change their game and redirect their violent gaming time to games that make a real difference in the world! With sensor technology and the internet of things, we are going to focus on the intersection of where the real world meets the virtual world. We are going to accentuate this moment, so that youth can learn how the virtual world interacts with the real world in healthy, pro-active ways! From geo-caching to connected attire, the Game Changer Platform will create a new reality for all of us to live into, and we are going to do it….together! Each of the one million youth who boldly Change their Game, will be registered to receive the new Game Changer Platform in exchange for the violent video game they trade in. This is what we call Conscious Disruption as we RESENSITIZE our most important generation.
As the Game Changer Movement grows, we will become recognized as having a great process for rePURPOSEing the e-waste of video games and their cases. CD’s and DVD’s are made of #7 plastic, which means that they are recycled using a different process than mainstream plastic recycling of #1 and #2 plastics. As we transform violent media into art, furniture, signs and eventually even dresses, we will become the go to solution for rePURPOSEing this form of e-waste. We will create art kits for schools, once we have a critical mass of materials. Our current process is to paint the violent imagery off the games themselves, before we present them to the public for the creation of what we are calling Conversation PEACES. As the Game Changer Movement unfolds, we will be creating strategic partnerships that help ensure that we are creating events that impact the planet in positive ways, including incorporating technology that transforms our waste back into energy in the form of petroleum. Carol Solvay and I are co-authoring a book called Conscious Disruption, where we are exploring some of a unique opportunities that arise when we allow consciousness to enter into the conversations regarding technological advancements in the world. It is our vision to have the events we curate to serve as exemplars of the disruptive technologies that are helping the world transition from scarcity to abundance!
What are the next steps?
The Game Changer Movement has teamed up with an organization called Kids Standanrd founded by Maggie Razdar, is the 501(C)(3) umbrella for the Game Changer Movement, which means that we can apply for grants and accept donations as this vision expands!
We are going to support a series of Hack Days all over the world, focusing on Manchester, UK and Las Vegas, NV. The first retreat will focus on idea generation and brainstorming. We are going to bring youth and parents together with our creative team so that we may collaboratively design the next line of games and sensors that realify the game world and gamify the real world! During and following the Hack Days, we will create Conversation Peaces together. The Conversation Peace will be commissioned by our presenting sponsor or the corporate partner that wishes to underwrite the Peace. This process will allow all contributors to feel a sense of significance as they will know that they were given agency in the process from the very beginning. Significance is one of the more addictive aspects of the first-person shooter games that are so very popular. Sadly, Chris Harper Mercer said on a message board the day before killing 9 people and then killing himself, “This is the only time I’ll ever be in the news. I’m so insignificant,” according to CNN. Significance or agency in every step of the process is our highest priority!
Once the coding is complete, we will maintain our connection with all participants and stakeholders as we build an online community of Game Changers from around the planet!
What is the Time Line?
In 2017, we will be launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise resources from individuals who care to make a difference. We are asking people to contribute $10 for every violent video game we inspire youth to trade in. Since we will be inspiring 1,000,000 youth to trade in at least one game, we will be raising at least $10 Million from individuals. The campaign will launch in November and offer an alternative holiday gift selection, so that we can let parents know that we are working on an alternative gaming platform that we aim to have deeply in process by the 2017 holiday season.
The funds raised from the crowdfunding campaign will cover the costs of the Hack Days and any contests we create.
What might Corporate Sponsorship look like?
We are excited to build a community of accountable and transparent Game Changer Organizations. We are creating a registry with our partners where we ask:
- What is your game?
- How are you going to change it?
- How might we hold you accountable?
There are huge opportunities to collaborate with the Game Changer Movement as a partner or sponsor. There are the traditional event sponsorship opportunities where we can create Conversation Peace Signs and other ways to celebrate partnership at every level. A really exciting opportunity is that we are going to celebrate our partners within the Game Changer Games we create in the form of product placement or signage.
Our vision is to offer 1,000,000 Game Changer Platforms to the youth who courageously Change their Game. Currently, the average price of a new violent video game is approximately $60. Inspired by the Million Pixel Homepage, we are creating the opportunity for our partners to underwrite the Game Changer Platforms in subsets of at least 25 units ($1500). On the corporate end, we are aiming to generate at least $60,000,000 in sponsorship revenue! After the first million are allocated, we will offer the platforms for commercial distribution.
In conclusion, we are really excited to develop this collaborative creation process! We are going to create a community that is at least one million youth strong. The sponsorship and contribution model will underwrite the production of the first million units that we will trade with each of the first million youth. We will soon create an investment model that will incorporate time banking as well as traditional equity models as this grows! Although we currently speak of units, we may release this platform in downloadable form which will allow us to live as a values driven movement or organization.
We will also sell the toys we develop, along with reproductions of the art, furniture and signs we create!
Wow, we were just endorsed in a bold and beautiful way!:
“The Game Changer Movement is a brilliant tactic to shift our youth’s attention away from psychopathic play and engage them in healthy video games of their own design. When our kids artfully amplify life and what brings us all the best in life, they learn what it means to be and stay human in our screen world. While creating video games of significance, they are reminded that their contributions matter and that, in fact, we need their authentic voice and leadership so desperately. Our current crisis cannot be changed by the same old thinking. Erik Lehmann, founder of The Game Changer Movement is a extraordinary visionary who thinks well beyond what most of us would see as limitations. We would be smart to listen to him and wiser if we participated in his movement. I’m all in. How about you?”
Gloria DeGaetano, Founder, Parent Coaching Institute; co author, (w/ Lt. Col. Dave Grossman) Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill.
We have been endorsed by Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson, Tushar Gandhi and his video is here:
We have also been endorsed by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman and his video is here:
We have been endorsed by a great videographer and human being: