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Mark DeLoura, the former digital media adviser at the Obama White House, won one of the game industry’s highest honors tonight: the Ambassador Award.

DeLoura was an advocate for the understanding the game industry in the federal government, and he made it clear that he believes games can be a force for social good during his acceptance speech. He won the award as part of the Game Developers Choice Awards at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

“We celebrate Mark for his tireless work as an advocate and educator,” said Chris Melissinos, a former winner of the Ambassador Award.

DeLoura said, “People at the White House knew me as the guy with the big fat Pikachu at my desk.” Among his accomplishments: He organized the first game jam at the White House.


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In his acceptance speech, DeLoura praised the diversity of skills and creative inspiration that drives game developers to create original works of art.

He said praised how games help give voices to underrepresented minorities, veterans, women, and, “Of course, immigrants.”

“If we think games can do more and be more,” it is incumbent on game developers to use their talents to help others, DeLoura said. “If we don’t stand up for the rights of others, we’ll never hear their voices.”

He said that game developers can change the world through games.


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