Notes from live blogging. All the usual disclaimers apply - typos, grammar, etc.
Youth Connection, Part I: Field Building with University Students Moderated by Katie Salen (Parsons, the New School of Design)
Description: Aside from creating "future leaders," let's talk about what University students are already contributing to social change gaming by creating a new kind of gaming environment. Take a peek into the hotbed of open prototyping, game jams, and mobile media experiements, then consider how schools might start to build social change into games studies curriculum.
Katie Salen Parsons (She co-wrote the book Rules of Play)
We're facilitating a process of games versus making games.
Games are made of up of rules - what you can or can't do in a game. After specific restraints comes play. The interplay between the rules and free play.
Dance Game - step on the correct arrow on the beat. Through play, the rules are transformed. They make up improvisational dancing. What you do inbetween the beats is up to you. That's where dancing takes place.
Gaming is a literacy of transgression.
Subvert the rules
explore the limits of system
propose alternate responses
Great skills for social change. Gaming is testing ideas, proposing solutions, and moving through the system.
Gaming is about questioning everything.
Education is a context for a change. When the students have a change to choose the games, they most often relate to an actvist issues.
Identity and social clicks in high school
Globalization - Sim game about you could plounder a developing country
Panchatantra - a board game. A way to keep alive the ancient tales of India and storytelling in India. Kids can go online an build stories. Kids are collaboratively working together to build a tale. Did the prototyping with kids. Important to test.
Gaming is literacy. How is the notion of gaming and practice of game part of a larger system.
Magic circle - the thing you step into. A transformative experience. You are able to think about things differently. The magic circle is a territory. What kind of change might be happening in the game? How can we design for instances of change around and outside the game.
The game system:
Ecology of play.
Outside game: Gaming as a global experience. Our responsibility as global citizens. Games are examples of global citizens. The reach. They have great currency as ambassadors.
A commitment to creating access - if we want to change game design. We have to change access. Not just a question of who makes games, but why certain people don't play. Not true that girls don't play games.
Researcher working with kids disabilities. Discovered that the kids weren't playing because of the design. Looked at this question about who isn't playing.
Scholarships, Role Models (more women making games)
How to build change:
build tools to allow others to design games (example - funded by MacArthur - game to allow kids to design games)
Parson's just starting. Prototyping, evaluation, and learning lab - partnering with the games 4 change. If you have an idea for a game, the students would create a prototype. Rapid prototyping to get the field going.
How can we facilitate change?
defining/refining research agenda -
What constitues a good social change practice? We know what makes a good game. How to make the two things come together.
Strategic partnerships: Who are you working with?
Princess - a feminist perspective in games. Why is the woman always having to be saving? In this game, the woman is the hero. The history of gaming.
What does it mean to design change? How can this group push the edges of that in a university context. Students are already activists.
Questions Teacher's College - Course on Social Change - research available.
Youth Connection, Part II: Reaching New Audiences and Distribution Channels around the K-12 Education System Andreas Ua'Siaghail (Pax Warrior/23 YYzee), Barry Joseph (Global Kids)
Barry gave an engaging presentation on two game programs where kids are designing games and Global Kids Island on Second Life. His presentation included video clips and he's a very engaging speaker - but a fast talker. Faster than I can type. I hope I can find some of the video documentation online because it tells the story much better than I can do here in text. Their programs have been well documented and evaluated and all is available online. http://www.holymeatballs.org
Barry is also a new parent. He shared an analogy between learning to be a parent and the learning in a game.