Stacking Minecraft Up in the History of Construction Play

Sep 25, 13 Stacking Minecraft Up in the History of Construction Play

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A few weeks ago my colleague Colin Fanning (who coauthored this post with me) forwarded me a call for papers for an edited scholarly volume on Minecraft, the beloved and near-ubiquitous sandbox game by Mojang. Initiated by Nate Garrelts, Associate Professor of English in the Department of Languages and Literature at Ferris State...

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What’s in a Name?

Aug 14, 13 What’s in a Name?

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This is a mostly serious and occasionally tongue-in-cheek open response to Kevin Bacon’s (@fauxtoegrafik) thoughtful and honest blog post “Nameless Gameless.” I’m hoping it will spark some open dialogue between a variety of folks interested in cultural heritage and meaningful play (and of course, those...

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Colonialism, Privilege, and Meaningful Play in Dog Eat Dog

Apr 24, 13 Colonialism, Privilege, and Meaningful Play in Dog Eat Dog

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Game designer Liam Liwanag Burke describes Dog Eat Dog as a “fun, compelling game about colonialism and assimilation in the Pacific Islands.” That’s right – Burke created a fun roleplaying game about the inequality inherent to colonialism and its consequences. One player acts as the Occupation (all of it...

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Let’s Use Toys to Teach about Playing in the Past!

Feb 27, 13 Let’s Use Toys to Teach about Playing in the Past!

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The other week when I was teaching a lovely group of 7th graders, I demonstrated how a colonial buzz saw toy works. Grasping both handles firmly, I spun the toy’s wheel around its string a few times and then firmly pulled the handles away from the wheel. I let the string unwind and then repeated this motion – spinning,...

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No More Chocolate-covered Broccoli: Collaboration between Game Designers and Historians is Key

Jan 23, 13 No More Chocolate-covered Broccoli: Collaboration between Game Designers and Historians is Key

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The following post is a short paper I wrote for a panel discussion on creating game experiences at Civil War historic sites. Our moderator suggested that we share our papers for further discussion and comment before the panel. Please join in the discussion, all comments and concerns are greatly appreciated! My postings on this site...

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