When I first saw the information on AMD’s “Changing the Game” effort, I thought it was just another kind of pandering. But then I caught myself in the act of not taking games seriously — something the mainstream media is too often guilty of, resulting in people like Jack Thompson and Kevin McCullough. The fact is, if the AMD Foundation were helping kids make their own movies about current issues, no one would think twice about it. But since it’s games, suddenly people will find it suspect. And that’s ridiculous.
There is an entire generation growing up now where games play as large a role in their life as movies, TV, books, and everything else. The false dichotomy between the old media and the new is harming them as they see works of art like Bioshock, Half-Life 2, and Final Fantasy XII dismissed by 90% of the world as mindless entertainment. These kids deserve to have their interests taken seriously, and I think this program, in which grants will be given to nonprofits that provide game-making opportunities to kids, is an unabashed good thing.