Skip to Content

Celebrating Global Gaming Citizens at The Game Awards 2019

Inspiring stories of people using the power of games to build community.

Last December, Facebook Gaming and The Game Awards celebrated a group of Global Gaming Citizens—individuals building unique game experiences to spark positive change in their communities. This past June at E3, we welcomed two new Global Gaming Citizens, Vanessa Gill of Social Cypher and Damon Packwood of Gameheads. And earlier this month, we introduced the newest members of Global Gaming Citizens during The Game Awards held annually in downtown Los Angeles.

Recommended Reading

To share their extraordinary stories with the rest of the world, Facebook Gaming and The Game Awards teamed up with Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, the Sundance Award-winning directors of Indie Game: The Movie to produce a series of powerful segments. Originally made for The Game Awards broadcast, you can watch the latest videos of 2019 Global Gaming Citizens below:

Fereshteh Forough, Code To Inspire 

Fereshteh Forough is the founder & CEO of Code To Inspire (CTI), the first coding and game design school for women in Afghanistan. CTI is a two-year after-school program that has given more than 150 young women skills and confidence to code, build apps, and generate work opportunities for themselves.The women at CTI have made over 20 games and have helped influence their community with their latest title, Afghan Hero Girl.

Luke, Let's Be Well 

Inspired by his family's story, Luke, 12, created a game within Roblox to raise awareness around mental health. The game, Let's Be Well, was designed to help kids understand mental health and to spark conversations about depression and other issues. 

Stephen Machuga and Mat Bergendahl, Stack Up 

Stephen "Shanghai Six” Machuga is CEO & Founder of Stack Up, a charity devoted to helping active military and veterans' mental health through games and gaming culture. A former Military Intelligence Officer and Airborne Ranger, Captain Machuga left the service in 2006 and spent the following decade working as a counter-terrorism analyst and supporting various charities. Eventually, he came to focus on charity work full-time with Stack Up. 

Mat Bergendahl is a veteran, licensed counselling therapist, and the manager of the Stack Up Overwatch program (StOP), a crisis support line that connects veterans with volunteers trained to assist with PTSD, depression, and other emotional stressors. Supported by the CDC, the innovative program is saving lives and meeting veterans in need where they hang out — online and playing games.

Global Gaming Citizens connects closely to the Facebook Gaming mission to help build the world’s gaming community — a place for everyone to enjoy and experience games together. Head over to the Global Gaming Citizens Facebook page to learn more.