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  • Writer's picturePeter Williamson

Literacy (n.) - the ability to read and write; competence or knowledge in a specified area.

Introducing our 4th annual impact theme! Game Genius turns its attention to literacy this year. From language and cultural to financial and tech, literacy exists in many different forms.

Our objective, as always, is to dig deeper into each impact theme by highlighting the work of local changemakers across the DMV. Want to play with us or be featured? Have a literacy resource to share or changemaker to introduce? Contact us at

We plan to engage these individuals and organizations throughout the year, providing play-based direct services (i.e. creative capacity or teambuilding) and opportunities to participate in playful community events. The two events we host will center around a more collaborative and connected approach in 2022.

For Play Week (Mar 20-26), Game Genius will invite anyone to join the fun. Play virtual games and learn with us during the week, or help craft storylines and puzzles for the District Hunt (Sept 30 - Oct 10) over the weekends. We're excited to continue using our two capstone experiences to bring awareness to local impact work as well as teach people about the game design process. Look for ways to get involved through our newsletter, website event pages, and social media!

Finally, Game Genius will work on a tabletop game that reflects one or more of the subtopics within the literacy theme. Last year, with a climate and environment theme, we produced a family-friendly card game called Splash Down that celebrates Antarctic species and identifies human activities that endanger the livelihood of those amazing creatures.

Going forward, our independent game products will serve as another fun way for people to support our work. We plan on releasing a print-and-play prototype for our new literacy game in the 4th quarter of 2022. We'll be in search of game playtesters who can provide feedback soon!

  • Writer's picturePeter Williamson

Earlier this year, Game Genius filed a 1023 form with the IRS to receive its 501(c)(3) status. Effectively, this allows an organization to receive donations as a tax deductible entity. It's an exciting distinction as we plan to scale our impact in the Greater Washington DC region!

It's also a tremendous hassle and not a lot of fun. In fact, there are a number of legal and logistical hoops that nonprofits need to jump through in order to reach this step. Not to mention the 6-9 month waiting period while the application is reviewed. Hopefully by going through it ourselves and shining light on the process, we can build awareness around why things like general operating support are so critical for nonprofits. We might even create a game about the application process itself...

In any case, the time has come for Game Genius to start fundraising! We claimed and created our nonprofit profiles on different cataloguing sites like Guidestar and Charity Navigator. We also reached out to community members and past project partners, who left about a dozen heartwarming reviews. Their efforts helped us earn a recognition for being a top organization in 2021 on Great Nonprofits! Feeling inspired yet?

For small nonprofits like ours, individuals are the foundation to any long-term growth strategy. It's not unlike politics, where a good "ground game" can get you recognized by larger and institutionalized funders. As you might expect, this formula can quickly evolve into a mechanical, unemotional numbers act. And while we see its general effectiveness, we also believe building relationships is the soul of philanthropy.

For us, giving and fundraising are partners in a dance. The most compelling performances are genuine and full of intent. The most cringeworthy are misaligned and out of step. What does that mean for Game Genius? We're never going to run a funding campaign simply because it works. We're going to run campaigns that we enjoy and lift up other organizations. Fun is quite literally in the word Fundraising. Hopefully we can inspire you to play along.

  • Kay Weekes

The concept of the inner child was first developed by psychologist Carl Jung with his “divine child archetype”. Today, the inner child is regarded as a subconscious personality consisting of your younger self’s learned behaviors and experiences. Jung attached this personality to “memories of innocence, playfulness, and creativity, along with hope for the future”. When this child is wounded due to trauma experienced, it can negatively impact our conscious adult selves in ways that we don’t realize.

Jungian Psychotherapy assists in healing this inner child through a process called “reparenting”. During the reparenting process, you uncover the traumas your inner child is suffering from, and actively work to change the patterns of behavior this trauma manifests as in your everyday life. Reparenting your inner child allows you to free yourself from pain and baggage that you’ve been subconsciously carrying, and see the world in the lighthearted way your child self would have, had they not encountered the challenges they did.

Even without a licensed psychotherapist guiding you through it, there are small things you can do on your own in your daily life to help you slowly reparent yourself. You can indulge in activities you used to enjoy but left behind due to outside criticism or being told you were “too old”, validate and allow yourself to feel your emotions, or my personal favorite, play. Interning at Game Genius this summer has given me the opportunity to connect back with my inner child through play, and I could not be more grateful. Their mission to make social impact fun is a perfect way to allow adults to do good while satisfying the child inside of them being refused playtime. Through this organization, I have been able to satisfy my adult self’s passion for social justice and making a difference with my child self’s love and hunger for fun.

The projects I have been a part of during my time as an intern have allowed me to blend creativity with logic. As a child, card games were always my favorite, and being able to assist with designing the box for Splash Down was an incredible way to connect back with old hobbies. My inner child will forever be grateful for the experience I had as a Game Genius intern this summer.

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