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Wednesday, June 11 • 10:30am - 11:30am
Obligatory Games: The Impact of Social and Political-Economic Contexts on Games in US Classrooms

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Obligatory Games: The Impact of Social and Political-Economic Contexts on Games in US Classrooms
Casey O'Donnell, Louisa Rosenheck, Mark Chen, Peter Stidwill

Games designed and developed to be both "good fun" and educational is no longer novel. Increasingly, games are being developed to meet the needs of both teachers and students. However, the various organizations developing these games find themselves enmeshed in a complex ecology of interests placing a variety of demands on those making these games.

Perhaps most importantly, questions surrounding the relationship between games and the U.S. educational system loom large in the minds of both academics and developers. Does something "required" remain a game? To what extent do games in the classroom have a chance to change the total classroom ecology towards affording the learning conditions we associate with well-designed games – interest-driven learning, exploratory probing, an orientation towards mastery not performance, etc.? To what extent do they become coopted by the surrounding institutionalizations as yet another form of analytics and surveillance of students, teachers, and learning outcomes?

Speakers
avatar for Mark Chen

Mark Chen

Accidental Hero and Layabout, Independent
non-tenure track positions. | life after a PhD. | gaming culture and power/agency in gaming practice. | esoteric gaming practices, workarounds, and hacks. | subversion, representation, margins. | board games.
avatar for Casey O'Donnell

Casey O'Donnell

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
My research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. I examine the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional "AAA" organizations and formal and informal "independent" game development communities. My research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India. My first book, "Developer's Dilemma" will be published by MIT Press in October of 2014. I am also an... Read More →
avatar for Louisa Rosenheck

Louisa Rosenheck

Research Manager, MIT Education Arcade
Louisa is a Research Manager in the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program. She manages the design, content, and development of educational games and simulations to be used with middle and high school students. She also oversees the research done on these projects exploring how games can be used most effectively in both formal and informal educational settings. Most recently Louisa has held the role of lead designer on The Radix Endeavor, a... Read More →
avatar for Peter Stidwill

Peter Stidwill

Executive Producer, Learning Games Network
I create educational games and digital learning products. I'm Executive Producer at the Learning Games Network, a non-profit spin-off of the MIT Education Arcade and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Games+Learning+Society program. I produced the award-winning ethical-thinking game ‘Quandary’, and am now working on ‘Playful Learning’, an initiative to catalyze the use of game based learning in schools. I previously worked at the... Read More →


Wednesday June 11, 2014 10:30am - 11:30am
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Attendees (29)