Tag Archives: academia

Secret Sartre

Games about human life are often interesting, and for those in academia, or who survived academia, games about university life specifically can hold a special fascination. From Scandinavia, here’s the full instructions for a card-based game (complete with the card designs). Secret Sartre:

In Secret Sartre, the faculty members of an unnamed university department battle for ideological supremacy. A fragile alliance of upstanding rationalists, logical positivists, empiricists, liberal humanists, scientists and other fetishizers of the Enlightenment must work together to stem the rising tide of postmodernism. Watch out, though – there are closet postmodernists among you, and someone is Secret Sartre.

Even if you don’t play games, the description of the rules is amusing.

July 2016, Manchester: Playful Learning

Website: http://conference.playthinklearn.net/blog/
The conference is being chaired by Mark Langan, Alex Moseley and Nicola Whitton
13-15 July 2016, Manchester, England

Call for papers: http://conference.playthinklearn.net/blog/call-for-papers

Playful Learning is pitched at the intersection of learning and play for adults. Playful in approach and outlook, yet underpinned by robust research and working practices, we’ll be providing a space where teachers, researchers and students can play, learn and think together. A space to meet other playful people and be inspired by talks, workshops, activities and events. Based in the heart of Manchester, we’ll also be exploring some of the city’s playful spaces with evening activities to continue the fun and conversations after the formal programme ends.

(I’m on the conference committee and therefore officially endorse this event :) )

GRL spring seminar: Money and Games

Website: https://gamemoneyseminar.wordpress.com/
Call for Papers, Game Studies Spring Seminar
18-19 April 2016, Game Research Lab, University of Tampere, Finland

Organised by: http://gamelab.uta.fi

As I’ve happily said before, the Game Research Lab at Tampere University are also a friendly group of pro-active researchers; the best conference I have ever attended was their 2007 Gamers in Society seminar.

Games in education: what I can do (for you)

While I cover several subject domains such as gamification as part of the work, my core area is on the effective use of digital games in education, learning and teaching. I’ve been doing this, on and off, for over 15 years; my website lists some of the clients I’ve worked for, a few of the more high profile (and public) deliverables I’ve authored, and a larger list of papers, reports, articles and other materials.

Whether you are in the public sector, private sector, a company, charity, a different kind of organisation or you’re an individual, there are a number of games in education services I may be able to help you with. These include:

  • Providing a scholarly research-based literature review for your ‘games in learning’ project or service.
  • Reviewing and synthesising contemporary research on digital games in education, learning and teaching.
  • Surveying a sector of education e.g. schools in a particular country, for examples of digital game use in curriculum and non-curriculum learning.
  • Reporting on what, and where, academic games research is currently happening.
  • Assessing the suitability of video game hardware and software for learning within curriculum-centric environments.
  • Reporting on learning models and theories which may underpin the use of digital game in education.
  • Describing the subject-based potential of digital games in curriculum-oriented learning.
  • Comparing digital games to other technologies when used in learning situations.
  • Researching the motivations for learning and for playing digital games, and how these compare, contrast, complement and influence each other.
  • Curriculum mapping: reviewing contemporary frameworks and mechanisms for determining if a digital game is relevant and appropriate for a specific curriculum.

Interested? Here’s some more information on working with me.

University of Michigan Gender and Gaming Symposium 2015

Website: http://www.lib.umich.edu/events/university-michigan-gender-gaming-symposium-2015
24 October 2015, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

In the past few years, issues of gender have become prominent in the discussion around gaming, both as relates to the games themselves and in the larger gaming culture. This symposium aims to critically engage these ongoing narratives, explore how gaming culture can impact broader social spheres, and indicate how gender relations in gaming can be improved going forward through two keynote talks, a series of roundtable discussions, a panel discussion of student gamers, and a game gallery of significant texts. Attendees can expect to participate heavily throughout the day and leave with a deeper understanding of game culture, its social significance, and what its future might entail.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Rabindra (Robby) Ratan, assistant professor, Department of Media & Information, Michigan State University. “Avatars for Empowerment: A research trajectory aimed toward reducing social disparity in education through avatar use”
  • Adrienne Shaw, assistant professor, Department of Media Studies and Production, Temple University. “Representation Matters: Reframing arguments for diversity in digital games”

Sponsored by: University of Michigan Library Computer & Video Game Archive; University of Michigan Library Diversity Council; University of Michigan Institute for Humanities; Ann Arbor District Library.

DiGRA/FDG 2016

Website: http://digra-fdg2016.org/
1-6 August 2016, Abertay University, Dundee, Scotland

(From the blog of Frans Mäyrä)

Abertay University is the home of the Europe’s oldest computer games program and the UK’s first university Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education, offering undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in games technology, game design and production management, and computer arts. The city of Dundee has been a major hub for game development since the release of Lemmings in 1991 by DMA – now known as Rockstar North.

Dundee is less than an hour away by train from the city centre of Edinburgh, and the 2016 conference will be held in the week immediately preceding the Edinburgh Festival (including the Fringe), the largest annual cultural festival in the world. Abertay also hosts the Dare Protoplay festival, one of the largest indie games festivals in the UK, and the Dare to be Digital game design competition, which will be held just before the conference.

(Updated information, from the DiGRA website)

For the first time, the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and the Foundation of Digital Games (FDG) will partner in an unprecedented gathering of games researchers. We invite researchers and educators within game research, broadly construed, to submit their work.

DiGRA/FDG aims at being a venue for game research from all research disciplines. In line with this, it accepts and encourages submissions in the following six tracks, on a wide range of subjects including, but not limited to:

  • Game design: Design techniques, practices, methods, post mortems, etc.
  • Game criticism and analysis: Close readings, ontologies and frameworks, historical studies, philosophical explorations, and other humanities-informed approaches
  • Play studies + Interaction and player experience: studies of play, observations and interviews of players, and research based on other methods from the social sciences; game interfaces, player metrics, modeling player experience
  • Artificial intelligence: agents, motion/camera planning, navigation, adaptivity, procedural content generation, dialog, authoring tools, general game playing
  • Game technology: engines, frameworks, graphics, networking, animation
  • Game production: studies of game production processes, studio studies, software studies, platform studies and software engineering

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the DiGRA/FDG conference, authors and reviewers alike will be required to describe their research background and field of study as part of the submission process. The intention for this is to help reviewers be conscious of when they are reviewing work outside their own field as well as making clear the proportions of contributing fields.

DiGRA 2015: Diversity of Play

Website: http://projects.digital-cultures.net/digra2015/
14-17 May 2015, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

The conference aims to address the challenge of studying and documenting games, gaming and gamers, in a time when these categories are becoming so general and/or contested, that they might risk losing all meaning. Given this, what concepts do we need to develop in order for our research to be cumulative and how do we give justice to the diverse forms of play found in different games and game cultures?

DiGRA2015 is an event ONLY for DiGRA members. All participants are required to have a valid membership for the conference. If you do not have a valid membership, please choose “for non-DiGRA member” in order to get the required membership.

The final program and the conference leaflet.

GRL spring 2015 seminar: Adult Play

Website: http://adultplayseminar.wordpress.com/
Call for Papers, Game Studies Spring Seminar
11-12 May 2015, University of Tampere, Finland


Organised by: http://gamelab.uta.fi

This is an interesting conference to attend, or present at. The Game Research Lab at Tampere University are also a friendly group of pro-active researchers; the best conference I have ever attended was their 2007 Gamers in Society seminar.

(And yes, the seminar cover photo is a little scary)