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How to Get Awards for Your Learning Game

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

Industry awards are a great way to create recognition and credibility around your learning game. External validation like industry awards and press placements will open doors to further validation and press – it is the quintessential model of a “virtuous cycle.” But a little known fact about industry awards is that they do not simply appear at your doorstep when you’ve made something great. You have to seek them out and apply, and if you’re new to this learning games racket, you might not know where to look. Lucky for you, you’re a reader of the Filament Games blog, and we’re here to help. Check out our awards program round-up below, and let us know if you need a vote!

Tech and Learning Awards of Excellence

Tech & Learning’s Awards of Excellence program has been around for over 35 years, so it’s a staple of the EdTech award landscape. If you’re looking to penetrate the classroom, this awards program includes rigorous testing by educators and the veterans of the T&L editorial staff. Evaluation criteria include quality and effectiveness, ease of use, creative use of technology, and suitability for use in an educational environment.

Award Submissions Open: TBD 2018
Award Submissions Close: TBD 2018
Cost of Entry: Single software or web-based product or app: $500; Software suite or series: $950; Single hardware or network/server-based product: $550; Hardware suite: $1,200; Combo software, hardware and/or network product: $950

EdTechDigest Cool Tool Awards

This program focuses on EdTech tools that are bridging the gap between the education world and the technology industry at large. The cost is fairly low given that it’s a relatively new program, so it might be a great starting point.

Award Submissions Open: Now
Award Submissions Close: September 28, 2017
Cost of Entry: $199

SIIA CODIE Awards

If you’re going for prestige, this is a storied program from an equally storied association. The SIIA has been a leading association of software companies for decades, and their awards program represents high esteem and validation from your developer peers. A word of warning though – the cost to entry is high on this one, particularly if you’re not a member.

Award Submissions Open: TBD 2018; Nomination period typically starts in December
Award Submissions Close: TBD 2018; Nomination period typically ends in February
Cost of Entry: $445 for SIIA members, $995 for non-members

Revere Awards

Overseen by the AAP, the Revere Awards are geared towards honoring excellent learning resources in the Education space. They have two competitions to consider – a “Classroom” competition and a “Beyond the Classroom” competition, so if you’re just looking to bring a learning experience into a home environment, this program has you covered as well.

Award Submissions Open: TBD 2017; usually October
Award Submissions Close: TBD 2017; usually December
Cost of Entry: Classroom – $200 for members, $250 for non-members; Beyond the Classroom – $150 for members, $200 for non-members

Games for Change Festival Awards

The Games for Change Festival is a fantastic platform to get noticed; the festival just wrapped earlier this month and participants enjoyed coverage in major publications like USA Today, VentureBeat, Mashable and Rolling Stone. You should especially consider this program if your game carries a message about social change, current events, or other serious topics. Categories include: Most Significant Impact, Most Innovative, Best Game Play, Best Learning Game, and Game of the Year.

Award Submissions Open: TBD 2018, typically January / February
Award Submissions Close: TBD 2018, typically mid-March
Cost of Entry: N/A

Serious Games Conference Awards

Like Games for Change, this is another big name in the serious games festival circuit. The main difference between the two shows is that this show does not have an explicit social change focus; that being said, the category of “serious games” certainly encompasses social change, and so that type of content also shines in this context. The fees for this show are reasonable and also stratified based on the size of your org, which is nicely equitable. Another interesting facet of this conference is that they also have a program for tabletop learning games, so if you’ve got one of those in your portfolio, consider this program.

Award Submissions Open: Now
Award Submissions Close: February 20, 2018
Cost of Entry: Large studio (25+ FTEs) – $350; Mid-sized studio (10+ FTEs) – $300; Museum/University/Non-profit/NGO – $250; Independent studio (9 or fewer FTEs) – $200; College Student (non-commercialized) – $100; High School Student – $50

Serious Game Showcase & Challenge

Run by the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge (SGS&C) is intended to stimulate industry creativity and generate institutional interest toward the use of digital game technology and approaches for training and education.

Award Submissions Open: Now
Award Submissions Close: Intent to submit due 9/15, final application due 9/18
Cost of Entry: $250, but the fee is waived for individuals entering under the Student and Government categories as defined in the SGS&C rules.

 

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