Re-posted from Teachonline (ASU), resources for teaching online
The Games for Change (G4C) Festival in New York simply gets better and better with each passing year. The 2015 Festival in late April included talks by game designer and educator Nicholas Fortugno, Pulitzer Prize winning writers Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (the husband and wife team behind Half the Sky and A Path Appears), game designer/educator Jesse Schell of Schell Games, and filmmaker/producer Morgan Spurlock (Remember SuperSize Me?).
Games for Change focuses on leveraging games to positively impact society. This year, the spotlight expanded from digital and video games to explore large action role-playing games (An entire session was dedicated to “Nordic LARP for Social Change” – check out Inside Hamlet.) and the application of games to education (The live-stream of the Games for Learning Summit held in Washington, D.C. the day before featured executives from Unity, Ubisoft, Zynga, GlassLab, E-Line Media, and the U.S. Department of Education.) For the record, I’ve taught with traditional educational games like The Oregon Trail and Math Blaster AND I’ve taught with mainstream games. My preference for higher education is to use what the students play; in other words commercial and Indie games. In a previous post, I mentioned using Telltale’s The Walking Dead game to explore concepts like survival, satire, and ethics; The Assassin’s Creed series to dissect historical fact from fiction; Portal 2 to demonstrate physics concepts such as oscillatory and simple harmonic motion and Hooke’s Law, and Civilization IV to introduce the complexities of political, social, and economic processes.