Later this week I will attend the Games, Learning, and Society Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. It's a 2-day event full of workshops, symposia, presentations, poster sessions - there's even multiple "chat 'n' frag" gatherings that bring developers, scholars, and enthusiasts together for hands-on play and analysis.
The mission of the GLS group is of particular interest to me:
The Games, Learning, and Society group is a collection of academic researchers, interactive media (or game) developers, and government and industry leaders who investigate how this medium operates, how it can be used to transform how we learn, and what this means for society. As such we seek to understand what cognitive work goes into playing Zelda, World of Warcraft, or Civilization, how these design features might be leveraged to improve learning via the design of learning systems, and how organizations such as schools will need to respond.
Among the sessions I'm most interested in:
- Beyond Games and the Future of Learning - James Paul Gee
- Online Games and Science: The Role of Gaming Technologies in the Development of Dispositions Towards Learning - Melissa Gresalfi and Anna Arici
- Values at Play: Tools for Activist Game Design - Jonathan Belman, Mary Flanagan, and Angela Ferraiolo
- Power From the People: How Videogames Foster Participatory Democracy - Lisa Galarneau
- A Walk Through Portal: An Act of Videogame Analysis - Drew Davidson
- Competitive Fandom in Action: How Fantasy Baseball Is Really Played - Rich Halverson
- Games that Also Happen to Educate: Can You Be Eased Into Craving Learning? -Nathan McKenzie
I'll be posting from the conference on Thursday and Friday. I hope you will find it interesting. I'm very excited and grateful for the opportunity to attend, and I look forward to meeting lots of terrific people focused on games, teaching, and learning.