Knight News awards to recognize serious games, zombies

We weren't sure what to expect when we rolled up to the first annual Knight News Game Awards, wearing our finest armor and eager to graciously accept our much-deserved award for sharpest swords. It turns out the ceremony, named for its sponsor -- the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation -- is designed instead to recognize a new genre of games, namely those that are "journalistic and enhance people's ability to make decisions in a democracy." Boy, were our faces red, not that you could tell beneath our newly-polished helmets.

The awards presentation is set to kick off as part of the Games for Change Festival this week, which runs from May 27-29 in New York City. Event organizers today announced the finalists for the awards, which include a handful of socially-conscious games including Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City, Play the News and the controversial September 12th – A Toy World. Our pick: The Budget Maze, where players navigate a dungeon while quizzing zombies on city or state budget processes. Who better to consult on financial planning than the undead?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.