Where to Find Me at the 2014 Games, Learning and Society Conference

Returning to the Games, Learning and Society Conference (this will be my seventh one!) always feels like a type of homecoming reunion. Since the conference began ten years ago – within a collection of graduate schools at University of Wisconsin in Madison – so many attendees have since graduated and dispersed, like spores, all around the country, giving fruit to all sorts of awesome. And this years 10th annual GLS is yet another amazing opportunity to bask in all that awesome.

So, where can you find me? Read on…

-+- Wednesday -+-

12:15 – I am helping to coordinate this lunchtime Communal Update on Minecraft and Learning Meet-up. We don’t know where, but we know when – come gather and connect with educators or researchers interested in how Minecraft is, can, or should be used for learning.

2:30pm – Playtesting games: Iterating failures to success

This workshop will provide hands-on experience with game design’s playtesting cycle. Participant-players will playtest tabletop and digital games in progress, providing valuable feedback to participant-designers while also learning and reflecting on the playtesting process.

During this session I will be asking folks to help us betatest our upcoming augmented reality hall-based game on microbiology, MicroRangers. I also might be soliciting feedback on our infographic: The Gaming of Science Manifesto.

-+- Thursday -+-

10:30am – 11:30am – I am presenting on and helped coordinate this panel and play session: Advancing STEM Learning with Games in Civic and Cultural Institutions: A Play, Critique, and Discussion Session

In 2010 only 16% of U.S. undergraduates declared natural sciences and engineering as their primary field of study compared to higher rates in other countries. Science is seemingly not interesting to youth. This problem is being addressed in and out of school. However, out-of-school learning is crucial and helps youth connect learning that happens in school to learning that occurs in other areas through “ecologies” of learning. These ecologies provide pathways of engagement across the spaces where youth develop. The American Museum of Natural History, The Field Museum, Smithsonian Science Education Center and University of British Columbia have contributed to these pathways through the development of STEM games. This panel will explore what the driving ideas are for using these games. Panelists will discuss with the audience on how games are, and might be be used, for STEM learning using civic and cultural institutions as examples.

This is an amazing group of people, great projects and a wonderful interactive format. Don’t miss it. And come play Pterosaurs: The Card Game with me, co-developed by youth in our after school programs using assets developed for a current exhibit.

-+- Friday -+-

1-2:30 – GLS Speed Runs

The GLS 10 Closing Keynote will unveil our very own version of pecha kucha: Speed Runs. Featuring top folks in the field, including John Sharp, Colleen Macklin, Constance Steinkuehler, Dan Norton, Elizabeth Lawley, Elisabeth Gee, Barry Joseph, & (of course) our curator, Sean Duncan. Come prepared for fast-paced, brilliant, and provocative ideas!

This is going to be super-amazing. I have 5 minutes and 20 slides to talk about the past decade of GLS, the state of games-based learning, and predictions for the next decade. And I might even do that. It is currently called “Video Games as Icebreaker To A New Tomorrow: 17.5 Reasons Why Video Games Can Make Or Break Education in the 21st Century…” I plan to post the full thing afterwards.

-+- On-Going -+-

The living card game Android: Netrunner is an update of Richard Garfield’s (Magic: the Gathering, King of Tokyo) cult classic collectible card game Netrunner. It’s set in a cyberpunk, dystopian future in which “runners” attempt to hack into the computer servers of corporations to steal agendas before the corporations can advance them. The GLS 10.0 Android: Netrunner Quasi-Tournament will be a casual and not-particularly-time-intensive opportunity to play Android: Netrunner with other GLS attendees.

So, yes… I managed to sign myself up to compete. Wish my luck… as I will need it! Each day you will be able to find me at some point playing to win! Come root me on.

Finally, the GLS shop will be selling discounted copies of Pterosaurs: The Card Game. Occasionally you will be able to find me there offering to play the game with you and showing off the augmented reality app that lets the extinct reptiles fly out of your hand.

See you in Madison!

About Barry

The Associate Director For Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives at the American Museum of Natural History.
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2 Responses to Where to Find Me at the 2014 Games, Learning and Society Conference

  1. Katie O says:

    Oh my GOD #pterosaursonaplane #whatcouldpossiblygowrong

    • Katie O says:

      “What do you MEAN you have to be less than 60 million years old to go through security?”
      “Stewardess? Are there any insect options for the in-flight meal?”
      “Back in MY day we didn’t need gas to fly, we were perfectly weighted and aerodynamic”
      “How dare you ask me why I’m on a plane! Can’t you see I’m a senior citizen? My bones are weak from fossilization!”

      Barry, I hope the trip was lovely!

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