Ian Bogost looks at the use of videogames for politics, advocacy, and activism in a wonderful essay on First Monday. There is a whole movement out there, called Serious Games, that is trying to foster "non-entertainment" games. And they're not just for kids anymore! Games for Change is the go-to place for more information on the positive use of this omnipresent media.
The MacArthur Foundation is putting tens of millions of dollars into digital media and learning, including games. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a big supporter of Games for Health. Any other foundations out there funding serious games or using them as tools for outreach, advocacy, engagement, learning, etc....? Curious minds want to know - please send me info.