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Friday, June 13 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Micropresentations

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Curator:  Sean Duncan

Games vs. gamification: The ultimate showdown
Moses Wolfenstein
Since ancient times, games have been a powerful force, providing form around the deep and fundamental desire to play, and creating purposeful and informal opportunities for learning. Within many cultural contexts, games have been pushed out to the edges of the learning ecosystem. However, the desire to play persists, and so games have continued to find a way. Now, and not for the first time, individuals seek to control games, placing the raw primordial force of play in the service of their ambitions through gamification. However, as many of our brightest scholars have stated, games are more than points and badges, more even than the rules that give them form. The arrogance of (humans) is thinking that (games) are in our control and not the other way around. In this session, games and gamification will square off in the ultimate showdown, and we will determine once and for all who is the true king of the monsters.

Twitch Plays Pokemon
Dennis Ramirez, Jenny Saucerman, Jeremy Dietmeier  
Given enough time, a thousand monkeys sitting at a thousand typewriters will produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Under a similar premise, the phenomena that is Twitch Plays Pokemon has  set out to see if order can arise from chaos. Can a thousand gamers at a thousand computers can collectively beat the game Pokemon?

CARD-tamen™ TPACK: Assessing Teacher Ability to Wisely Integrate Technology in the K12 Classroom
Beomkyu Choi, Stephen Slota, Michael Young
Amid a growing influx of smart devices, mobile phones, laptops, and tablets, the ability to seamlessly integrate technology and pedagogy has emerged as a crucial component of 21st century master teaching. In response, Koehler and Mishra (2009) developed the Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to better define and catalogue the complex dimensions of technology integration as associated with innovative instruction and domain expertise. The authors have expanded upon Koehler and Mishra’s vision by adding the context of contemporary learning theory and adapting a commercially available card game, CARD-tamen™, such that players (i.e., practicing educators) can externalize their knowledge concerning issues commonly associated with TPACK. The authors anticipate that this approach will improve integration strategies at the intersection of Technology, Pedagogical, and Content knowledge and provide important assessment information for decision-making concerning in-service teacher program coursework.

Role-Taking as an Advocacy Strategy for Policy Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Presentation Modes in Evoking Empathy and a Willingness to Act
Lien Tran, Katharina Lang, Nicholas Carcioppolo, David Beyea
This is a presentation on the comparative effectiveness of a tabletop serious game and a written report on a person’s empathy and willingness to engage in advocacy behavior. The game Cops and Rubbers simulates the adverse effect of the condoms-as-evidence policy on sex workers' health and human rights. The effectiveness of this game as an alternative advocacy tool is compared to a written report on this same policy. The current study assesses how serious games can impact attitudes, knowledge, and behavior. Preliminary results reveal that (1) there are no significant knowledge differences between the report and game condition, suggesting the game is similarly efficacious as a detailed report; and (2) the game resulted in significantly higher intentions to advocate for sex workers’ rights than the pamphlet. These results suggest that Cops and Rubbers may be an effective way to increase knowledge, attitudes, and intentions concerning sex workers’ rights.

Growth, reproduction, and environmental stress: the evolution of a botany game in response to rapidly changing conditions
Trevor Brown, Arthur Low
In an age where many students are hard-pressed to identify even the most common garden vegetables, relating complex concepts like photosynthesis and pollination to a middle school audience is no small task. The game we’d like to explore aims to do just that by exposing students to a simplified model of a highly identifiable annual plant growing from seed to mature fruit-bearer over the course of a single growing season. We describe the development of a learning game that draws an engaging parallel between the cycle of growth, maturation, dissemination, and eventual renewal seen in the propagated life of a plant, and the iterative release cycle of an agile development shop.

“Smarter thinking and trial and error x 17” – Building epistemological presence in game spaces
Bob Coulter 
Popular perceptions of games run the gamut from frill to menace. In school, games are trivialized to being a tool best used to Raise Test Scores. For better or worse, these viewpoints limit the potential for games to support kids’ growth and development. To counter this, the author argues for richly constructed game spaces that promote epistemological presence – “an atmosphere in which the complexity of knowledge and the knower’s experience of it is constantly in play” (Sockett, 2012). Specific examples of game play and design show how environments designed for epistemological presence can move kids into a new and profoundly generative space. As a result, kids iteratively build capacity and are motivated toward continuing growth. As Self Determination Theory predicts, kids (and other humans) thrive if their needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness are met. Designing the space for that growth is an essential step toward that goal. 

Sell the Kids for Food: A Caution on Computers, Luck, and Children
Jason Haas
In what is sure to be a jam packed near-seven minutes, I will quickly explain how games are time machines for human identity, why this is important, and how our current fixation on data-driven outcomes for kids kills an important part of humanity in them as well as in our culture. Core to this argument will be an understanding of Callois’ “Alea,” (or chance) and how deterministic computational models can remove this core aspect of self-determination. Traditionally, Americans have ironically preferred cultures of control to cultures of chance, banning gambling and touting a meritocratic ideal that hard work pays off even as fundamental components of our economy thrive on chance. I will argue that current attempts to computationally track, assess, and predict our kids are ideologically driven and fundamentally at war with something at the core of why games and gaming are important to us as humans, and that the GLS Community is in a key position to push back.

Against ‘Identity’: The self and learning in a language (of) game
Benjamin DeVane
The term ‘identity’ has become increasingly central to game-based learning and research. Designers, scholars, teachers and practitioners are all talking about players’ identity changes in games. But we never quite understand what anybody else means when they talk about games and identity, even though we often think we do. In this talk I argue that we should stop saying that players’ identities are being transformed into that of a character in a learning game, because they are not, and it causes confusion. Instead I contend that educators and researchers should think more about the identities that players bring to games and the ways that players fashion identities around play spaces, not within virtual environments. Old-fashioned, unsophisticated words like “character” and “role” are much better suited to describing players’ ongoing development of a narrative-social self within a gameworld. 

Speakers
avatar for Trevor Brown

Trevor Brown

Art Director, Filament Games
Trevor specializes in interaction design at Filament Games. He relishes the many challenges involved in the creation of learning games, from designing intuitive interfaces to crafting attractive, audience-appropriate graphics. Trevor particularly enjoys using his career as an excuse to purchase and play countless intriguing games spanning every mechanic and subject matter imaginable. He feels extraordinarily fortunate to be a game developer... Read More →
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Bob Coulter

Director, Missouri Botanical Garden
Bob is the director of the Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, an R&D-focused division of the Missouri Botanical Garden. As part of that work, Bob leads game-based learning initiatives using augmented reality and agent-based modeling tools.
avatar for Benjamin DeVane

Benjamin DeVane

Iowa City, Iowa, United States, University of Iowa
Identity & Learning | Computational Thinking | Design & Aesthetics
avatar for Jason Haas

Jason Haas

Cambridge, MA, United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jason is a Research Assistant and PhD candidate in The Education Arcade and the Center for Mobile Learning in the MIT Media Lab. He is also an Early Career Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Spencer New Civics Education Program.His research focuses on designing interesting civic, multiplayer experiences (for learning and otherwise) and evaluating them in context. Recent work includes the Jigsaw-based iPad game SANCTUARY... Read More →
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Arthur Low

Engineering Director, Filament Games
5 year veteran of Filament Games. I've worked in some capacity on the majority of projects the studio has produced (including programming many of them). I like to talk about code. I like to talk about games for learning.
avatar for Dennis Ramirez

Dennis Ramirez

Technical Director, USC IMGD, Videogame Researcher
avatar for Jenny Saucerman

Jenny Saucerman

Madison, WI, United States, University of Wisconsin - Madison
avatar for Stephen Slota

Stephen Slota

Co-Founder, The Pericles Group, LLC
Steve (@steveslota) is an instructional design specialist and game design scientist at the University of Connecticut Health Center and a co-founder of The Pericles Group, LLC. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Cognition, Instruction, & Learning Technologies and has worked on a variety of game and instructional design projects with organizations including Arizona State University's Center for Games & Impact, Intel Corporation, and... Read More →
avatar for Lien Tran

Lien Tran

Assistant Professor, University of Miami
Game Design. Social Impact Games. Social Change. Higher Education.
avatar for Moses Wolfenstein

Moses Wolfenstein

Madison, WI, United States, University of Wisconsin, Extension
Moses has worked in the field of education for over a decade, and has been studying and creating games and other digital media for learning since 2006. He holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis where he worked with his adviser Rich Halverson on games for school leadership. As SeniorInteraction Developer at University of Wisconsin-Extension, Moses works to improve user experiences and... Read More →
avatar for Michael Young

Michael Young

UConn
A situated cognitive view of learning on-the-fly in video game environments, through rich narratives, assessed through card play and understood as social participation, with an ecological psychology flare.


Friday June 13, 2014 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Festival Room

Attendees (43)