So, like last year, I was in a panel this year at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX)!
It was me, Chris Paul (Seattle U), Roger Altizer (U of Utah), Nathan Dutton (Ohio U), Todd Harper (MIT GAMBIT), and Shawna Kelly (USC/Intel).
While last year we presented a general overview and introduction to games studies/games research in academia to people who may be interested in games as a career but don’t want to go into the games industry, this year we each had five minutes to share where we’re at and what we do and then share the work of someone else in the field that we like.
Continue reading Penny Arcade Expo PAX11, Aug 26-28, 2011
Besides the notes from below, GLS was also about brats, beer, ice cream, short shorts, frat jocks with jean chaps, and the metagame. And tons of friends.
This year we sorely missed Julian Dibbell and/or Lisa Nakamura, presenting to us something on griefing, trolls, gold farmers, subversion, etc. 🙁
- Sean Duncan’s appropriation of World of Warcraft’s Talent Tree to encourage class participation was a brilliant idea that failed in execution. He concluded that it just didn’t work, but Rich Halverson, the discussant, suggested that maybe it was because all of the talents he designed allowed players to opt-out of participating with the class. What if the talents were reworked such that they gave players the privilege to present or have the floor or otherwise participate more?
- Betty Hayes and John Carter McKnight’s experience with English grad students being introduced to World of Warcraft was hilarious, completely dispelling the myth that all students would want to play a game for class, would know how to play a game, and that it would encourage self-directed learning.
I dig brazil = example of curriculum design as fragile orchestration of content, medium, timing, yet best moments can be spontaneous #gls7
This keynote summarized the new NRC report. Constance noted that the report perhaps put more emphasis on simulations. Two take-aways:
- much of games and simulation research has focused on content learning, yet games could speak powerfully to all the 6 strands of science learning in the LSIE volume (pdf).
- there’s not yet enough evidence for using games/simulations for the 6 strands of learning, so there’s an opportunity for more research using this new framework.
Mostly talking about Quest2Learn. (Coincidentally, Aaron Hung’s new book The Work of Play just came out!)
FIRESIDE CHAT: Writing the Games-Based Dissertation
— Wolfenstein, Chen, D’Angelo, Harper, Kelly,Chess
Surprisingly well attended! We decided to submit something to the conference proceedings. I guess navigating PhDs to completion is an universal challenge.
PRESENTATION: How Players Shape the Game
Scientific Play? How Players Remake World of Warcraft as a Game of Numbers.
Negotiating with the “Addictive” Characteristics of Online Games
Yut, Korea’s Monopoly: A deep relationship between game play and cultural practices
— Lee, Halverson
Kristine Ask covers theorycrafting and how normalizing its practice is. Shawna Kelly tackles the controversial topic of addiction and how players who talk about addiction (regardless of how we define it) tend to be happier. Jules Lee introduces the audience to the Korean game Yut, looking at play in a similar study to Na’ilah Nasir’s look at African-American dominoes players.
My tweets (many more than in previous sessions because @the_real_rahjur was doing such a good job live-tweeting the ones we both went to):
players using theorycraft w/o understanding the numbers is kind of like academic work, actually – @kristineask#gls7
players, whether they care about theorycrafting, will encounter it and have their play normalized by it #gls7@kristineask
some guilds encourage pointing newbies to theorycrafting sites rather than just being “elitist jerks” #gls7@kristineask
some have described expertise development as basically a process of normalization, too #gls7
sobering case studies of gaming addiction from shawna kelly #gls7
gamers who manage their “addiction”–by talking about it, by setting goals–are happier #gls7 -shawna kelly
“gaming practice cannot be separated from gaming culture” #gls7Jules Lee on the Korean game Yut
surprisingly, during social play experts Yut players asked more questions than novice players #gls7 -Jules Lee
the type of question seems to matter a lot, eh? #gls7 Jules Lee
Jules Lee just cited Megan Bang! Dr. Bang is coming to U Washington next year. uhuh uhuh. /nod #gls7
also citing Na’ilah Nasir, who’s working with us at the LIFE Center. yup yup… 🙂 #gls7
expert gamers leverage resources-social ties to family, etc. (Lee & Halverson) *and* material tools (Ask) #gls7 (thx 4 supporting my diss!)
gaming practice *and* there4 expertise devlpmnt(!) takes place n specfc cultural contexts, compltly destroys cogntvst view o expertse #gls7
- In line with Eric, Eric, and, to a lesser extant, Constance, in saying that gaming ecologies need to be looked at, not just the game-player relationship. Learning environment matters. Setting matters. The how of implementation matters.
- Also along those lines, games are good at teaching systems thinking, procedural and logistical or computational thinking, not necessarily content knowledge.
- We have a digital media literacy divide that mirrors a general literacy divide, and it’s gotten worse since NCLB. Jim Gee names the biggest problem segregation within our school systems; not necessarily segregation by race but also by class, etc., where those with strong networks of support continue to outpace students who lack support.
I skipped this. Sorry. 🙁