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Game Changers

Be a Game Changer in 2023!

Game Changers is a programme for young people who want to learn about issues affecting our world today. Game changers encourages young people to engage with global justice issues by creating either board, card or digital games. It is open to young people from primary, post primary and youth settings.

To support young people, teachers and youth workers through this process, the Trócaire development education team are available to deliver free workshops in schools and youth groups. The workshops explore what global justice means, and introduces young people to games design techniques. Young people then design their own games exploring global justice issues, such as climate change, gender equality or conflict and enter it in the Game Changers competition. In 2022, we received over 200 entries from primary schools, post primary schools and youth groups.

How to sign up to the programme?

You can sign up for Game Changers 2023 HERE . A member of the development education team will then follow up with you about the next steps in the programme, including a games design workshop with your class/youth group .

You can also download our educator pack HERE, which is full of advice and information on how to work with your class/youth group in designing their own game, aswell as having all of the logistical information you need to enter the 2023 competition.

Got a question? Please get in contact with us at [email protected]

Sign up for Game Changers 2023

Game Changers 2022 Winners

In the fourth year of Game Changers, 212 games were entered into the competition. Games explored themes such as climate action, sea pollution, gender equality and sustainability. The development education team reviewed all games, and 29 games were shortlisted for the final even in the Lighthouse Cinema which was held on May 18th. Primary schools, post primary schools and youth groups from all across the island of Ireland were represented at this event. Students had the opportunity to play the other games in their category aswell as showcasing their own game to their peers. Students then voted on their favourite games. Congratulations to this year’s winners and to all of the young people and educators who participated in Game Changers 2022.

Game Changers 2022 Winners

Primary Category

First Place – Achill Sound National School, Co. Mayo – Roll and Catch

Second Place – Groggan Primary School, Co. Antrim – Oceans Alive

Third Place – Mercy Convent Primary School, Co. Kildare – UN Goals Choose Your Path/ Scoil Róis, Co. Galway – Bin it to Win it!

Post Primary/Youth Category

First Place – Loreto College Coleraine, Co. Derry – Planet Pursuit

Second Place – Sacred Heart School Tullamore, Co. Offaly – The Consequence Games

Third Place –  St Mogues College, Co. Cavan – Zero Hunger

Winners of Trócaire’s annual Game Changers competition, Achill Sound national school, Photo: Peter Houlihan

Game Changers 2022 Winners

In the fourth year of Game Changers, 212 games were entered into the competition. Games explored themes such as climate action, sea pollution, gender equality and sustainability. The development education team reviewed all games, and 29 games were shortlisted for the final even in the Lighthouse Cinema which was held on May 18th. Primary schools, post primary schools and youth groups from all across the island of Ireland were represented at this event. Students had the opportunity to play the other games in their category aswell as showcasing their own game to their peers. Students then voted on their favourite games. Congratulations to this year’s winners and to all of the young people and educators who participated in Game Changers 2022.

Game Changers 2022 Winners

Primary Category

First Place – Achill Sound National School, Co. Mayo – Roll and Catch

Second Place – Groggan Primary School, Co. Antrim – Oceans Alive

Third Place – Mercy Convent Primary School, Co. Kildare – UN Goals Choose Your Path/ Scoil Róis, Co. Galway – Bin it to Win it!

Post Primary/Youth Category

First Place – Loreto College Coleraine, Co. Derry – Planet Pursuit

Second Place – Sacred Heart School Tullamore, Co. Offaly – The Consequence Games

Third Place –  St Mogues College, Co. Cavan – Zero Hunger

Game Changers 2021 winners

In 2021 we reverted to a more familiar format of the programme, including CPD for educators, and online workshops to help the young people with designing their games. The year continued to be affected by Covid-19, however, schools and youth groups came up with innovative ways to work together to complete their games and enter them into our competition. In 2021, we were again looking for understanding, empathy, innovation, and effort, as well as ensuring the games demonstrated a clear link to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We had three winning games this year, from both formal and non-formal education settings.

Overall winner – Holy Child Killiney, Co. Dublin with ‘The Sustain Game’

Runner up – Sí Goaith Guides (Barna) with their game ‘Eco-Quality-Garden’

Runner up – Irish Girl Guides with their game ‘The Twisted Game of SDG 12’

Students from Holy Child School, Picture Credit: Holy Child School, Killiney.

Game Changers 2020 Winners

Due to Covid-19, Game Changers 2020 was adapted to become a Home Challenge Competition. However, this did not stop the resourcefulness, ingenuity, and creativity of all the entries. Our Home Challenge saw original board games, card games and digital games submitted from young people of all ages, from all over Ireland.

The games explored the Sustainable Development Goals, including games focusing on climate action, peace and justice, good health and wellbeing and responsible consumption.

Each game was assessed by a judging panel on the following criteria: Understanding, Empathy, Innovation and Effort. The judges were impressed by the standard of knowledge, understanding and gameplay. We had five winning games from both the senior and junior categories, including individual and team entries.

The winners were:

  • Senior Individual Winner – Micheál  with his game ‘Climate Conquest’.
  • Senior Team Winners – Rachel, Emily, Lucy, Laura Kenna, Eve, Ella, with their game Climopoly’.
  • Junior Individual Winner – Samuel with his game Planetsaver’ (digital game).
  • Junior Team Winner – Laura and Anna with their game Fish Away’
  • Youth Category Winners – Foróige, Ballybane, Co.Galway .PJ , DJ, Dylan, Patrick, Jonathan, Patrick, with their game ‘Climate Justice the Game’.

Senior Team Winners : Climopoly

Game Changers 2019

Over 80 games were entered into the inaugural Game Changers competition in 2019. Board games, card games and online games were submitted from primary, post-primary and youth groups. These games explored themes such as human rights, the plight of refugees and the challenges of delivering aid to countries affected by poverty.

Foróige Ballybane, Galway were runners up in the Youth category with their game ‘Survivalist Pro’. John Conroy, PJ Mongan, Daragh Fallon and Cian O’Donovan accepted their award. Photo : Garry Walsh.

Game Changers 2019

Over 80 games were entered into the inaugural Game Changers competition in 2019. Board games, card games and online games were submitted from primary, post-primary and youth groups. These games explored themes such as human rights, the plight of refugees and the challenges of delivering aid to countries affected by poverty.

Each game was assessed by the judging panel on the following criteria: understanding, empathy, innovation and effort. Twenty-two games were shortlisted and showcased at the competition final, which took place in DCU on the 15th May 2019.

These 22 groups of young people and their teachers enjoyed a hugely energetic and colourful event. The judges were wowed by the standard of gameplay on show but the final say on who took home the title went to the entrants themselves. Each group voted for their favourite game. The winning game was announced as “Hunt for Human Rights”, a fantastic game created by Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan. Their prize was to present their game at the International Educational Games Competition in Denmark.

Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan were winners in the Post-Primary category as well as overall winners of the Game Changers event by popular vote with their game ‘The Hunt for Human Rights’. Photo : Garry Walsh.

Play Trócaire's Development Education games

Pathways to Peace Primary Edition

You have been forced to fl ee your home because of confl ict and must go on a journey to safety. When you cross the River Nile you arrive in a safe village. You must gather supports to help you put down roots and live a healthy and happy life in your new home

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Pathways to Peace Post Primary and Youth Edition

You have been forced to fl ee your home because of confl ict and must go on a journey to safety. When you cross the River Nile you arrive in a safe village. You must gather supports to help you put down roots and live a healthy and happy life in your new home

View Resource Learn More

The Exploitation Game

Download and play the Exploitation Game for four players aged 12+. This board game is based on the challenges communities face when trying to protect their land.

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The Exploitation Game Video

Learn how to play The Exploitation Game Video by watching the video.

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Project Honduras Video Game

Play the award-winning video game Project Honduras. This game is based on the experiences of communities who face the worst effects of climate change.

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Human Rights Defenders

Download and play this board game for two-four players aged 9+. Help local people to fight for their rights and defend their land.

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Climate Change and Honduras Video

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