Games as Text and K12 Social Studies

Jan 01, 14 Games as Text and K12 Social Studies

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I’m often asked by colleagues who know my interest in games in education to suggest a game students can play that will teach them some particular set of knowledge or skills. “Do you know any iPad games that can teach quadratic equations?,” or “Has anyone made a game about conjugating Spanish verbs?” While these games may...

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Capricious Fate: Videogames as Tools for Moral Instruction

Nov 13, 13 Capricious Fate:  Videogames as Tools for Moral Instruction

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We often treat serious games as a relatively recent or unexpected development.  Certainly there is still a fair amount of hype about the potential practical uses of videogames, particularly in the realm of education.  While such discourses of progress and potential are certainly not unfounded, it is important to remember that...

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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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Of Carrots and No Sticks; or, on Teaching Digital History with Gamification

Mar 13, 13 Of Carrots and No Sticks; or, on Teaching Digital History with Gamification

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I’m teaching HIST3812: Digital History (Games and Simulations for Historians) this term.  Past experience has taught me that whenever I actually try to force students to learn some digital skills – to do digital history – I encounter pushback and resistance. Why that should be is fodder for another day, but I...

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