Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Month: January 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Book Review – Connected Gaming

Connected Gaming – What Making Video Games Can Teach Us about Learning and Literacy

By Yasmin B. Kafai and Quinn Burke

MIT Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780262035378

This book presents an introduction to the ‘Connected Gaming’ approach of using video games for learning, advocating for an integrated methodology that encompasses both an instructionist and a constructionist mindset. Central to this thesis is that for students to maximise their learning it is essential for them to not only play video games but to make them as well. The authors of this book build on the work of the noted gaming scholar James Paul Gee, and indeed the title is itself an homage to Gee’s 2003 text What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy.

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Games and Culture Symposium (10 Feb)

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Arts and Languages at Manchester University is hosting a symposium that may be of interest:

Games and Culture
Symposium
10 February, 2-6 P.M.
Zochonis Building, Theatre D
This event will consider history, games and culture, with contributions from two
of the leading scholars in this area presenting new work. It will also include
research networking, with the opportunity to discuss issues related to games
with scholars from a range of disciplines.

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Book Review: Die verspielte Gesellschaft

Die verspielte Gesellschaft: Gamification oder Leben im Zeitalter des Computerspiels

(Society at Play: Gamification, or Life in the Era of the Computer Game)

By Nora S. Stampfl

Hanover: Heise, 2012. ISBN: 978-3936931778

This is an introduction into gamification, the process by which elements from various games, especially computer games, are used in non-game situations. The book starts with an overview of games in general, in particular with the establishment of the academic discipline Ludology in the 1990s. In order to answer the question “What is a game?” posed near the start of the book, Nora Stampfl summarises the work of Johan Huizinga, Bernard Suits, and Roger Caillois, stressing the fact that this work pre-dates the era of computer games. For Stampfl, one of the key aspects of computer games is their potential to bring large numbers of players together in various forms of online interactions. Clearly, the MMOs are one of the best examples of this aspect of gaming, with many people seeing them as an opportunity for players to escape grey reality in favour of various fantasy worlds. However, Stampfl’s focus is very much on the reverse direction, namely the numerous ways in which elements from online gaming are being used in real life, through a process of gamification. Her goal is to explore how these features are able to influence people’s behaviour in various areas of their own lives.

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C4P: DiGRA UK 2017

The Digital Games Research Association United Kingdom (DiGRA UK) has recently announced a Call for Participation for the conference of the association, to be held on the 5th May, 2017, at the MediaCityUK in Salford.

DiGRA UK acts as an international advocate and networking platform aiming to set teaching standards and engage directly with the entertainment software industry, and the details of the Call for Participation can be found below:

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The Geeks Come Out at Night: Understanding the Impact of Pokémon Go

Maybe it’s some unfulfilled, subconscious need stemming from childhood (‘Can we have a pet?’ ‘No.’ ‘Oh.’) but I keep using Pokemon Go! in a lot of my teaching about mobile phones and daily life. Anyway, apologies for the digital-bias here but this event might be of interest if you are in the area.

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