Play the Past launched!

I’m happy to report that Play the Past, a collaboratively edited & authored blog about cultural heritage and games, has launched. Actually, Ethan, our intrepid leader, says it best: At its core, Play the Past is a collaboratively edited and authored blog dedicated to thoughtfully exploring and discussing the intersection of cultural heritage (very broadly defined) and games/meaningful play (equally broadly defined). Play the Past contributors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, domains, perspectives, and motivations (for being interested in both games and cultural heritage) – a fact which is evident in the variety of topics we tackle in our posts.It is very important … Continue reading Play the Past launched!

Serious Games for Archeaology & Imagining The Past

Ruth Tringham and her team at Berkeley continue to do extremely interesting work! I’ve just come across this course description for ‘serious games for archaeology‘, a course that asks probably *the* most important question when it comes to the content of historically-themed video games: […]We will explore and learn to critically analyze existing games that deal with archaeology, history, and the past. How, for example, does the game “Colonial Williamsburg” that MIT is developing differ from more popular games such as “Civilization”? We’ll discuss why it is that the commercial game producers are not interested in the educational value and … Continue reading Serious Games for Archeaology & Imagining The Past

Rolling your own: early draft

I thought I’d try something different. I’m giving a paper at a conference before too long, and I thought I’d solicit feedback on it *before* I give it: I’ll write the thing in public. I am always such crap when it comes to properly formatting citations etc, and I have a mental block when it comes to words that sound alike… so please be gentle. Feedback in the comments, please. This terrifies me, to some extent, but I watched a similar experiment unfold on Grand Text Auto a while back, which had excellent results. And so, I offer: Rolling your … Continue reading Rolling your own: early draft

The Game’s the Thing

I’m headed of to the Niagara peninsula next month, for Playing With Technology in History. Here’s what I thought I’d talk about : Shawn Graham, “Rolling your own: On Modding Commercial Games for Educational Goals” Making modifications to existing commercial games is a strong and vibrant sub-culture in modern video gaming. Many publishers now provide tools to make this easier, as part of their marketing strategy. In this paper, I look at the nature and quality of the discussions that occur on the fan mod sites as a form of participatory history. I also reflect on some of my own … Continue reading The Game’s the Thing

Learning with Digital Games – Nicola Whitton

I’ve just gotten my hands on an (e-)inspection version of Nicola Whitton’s Learning with Digital Games: A Practical Guide to Engaging Students in Higher Education. From the introduction, Two recent UK studies provide evidence that students may not be as comfortable with technology for learning and new ways of working as is commonly assumed. In a study of student expectations of higher education, IPSOS MORI(2007) found that while the group of potential students who took part in their study had grown up with technology they did not value the use of technology for its own sake, but instead put a … Continue reading Learning with Digital Games – Nicola Whitton

Masters and Doctoral Theses on Serious Games

A list maintained by Katrin Becker at SFU, ‘Serious Games Pathfinder‘: The following is a list of Master’s and Doctoral theses that have been completed that have to do with serious games (and in some cases more broadly with digital games). Doctoral Theses are marked in bold. You can get more info on each thesis by clicking on the associated ‘details’ link. Note: I am just starting to develop this list. So far, almost all the theses are Canadian ones. If anyone has a thesis they would like me to add, please let me know the following: Name, Title, Year, … Continue reading Masters and Doctoral Theses on Serious Games

Top 100 Learning Games, according to Upside Learning

From the Upside Learning Blog It is All Fun and Games…And Then Students Learn- Kapp Notes, July 30, 2008 Building Better Learning Games- Learning Visions, April 9, 2009 Marc Prensky – Digital Game-Based Learning Gadgets, games and gizmos for learning- Clive on Learning, January 29, 2008 How to Delight and Instruct in the 21st Century What Makes a Learning Game? Serious Games Blog mLearn08: MiLK: students building mobile learning games in higher education by Debra Polson- Ignatia Webs, November 12, 2008 Marc Prensky – Twitch Speed, June 17, 2009 Using computer games in education- ThirdForce Blog, January 30, 2009 Digital … Continue reading Top 100 Learning Games, according to Upside Learning

On Learning in Video Games

The incomparable Escapist has another excellent article that we, who are interested in serious games for teaching and learning, would do well to consider: When I was a tutor in college, my biggest challenge was dealing with students who thought my job was to make learning effortless and fun. They were often incensed that I could only help them if they were already willing to work hard. Over and over they’d ask in a tone reserved for bad wait-staff at a restaurant, “Hey, isn’t it your job to make sure I learn this?” Fortunately, a poor grade on a quiz … Continue reading On Learning in Video Games

Canadian Historical Review – article on game for history

I’m happy to say I had a hand in this article. History computer games have become an economic and cultural phenomenon, and historians should seize the opportunity to participate in their development. Players of history games are interested in the past and in the big questions that drive historical scholarship. In this way, games have the potential to draw players into the discipline if we can discover the best way to express history though simulation. But what research do we draw on as we study how to accomplish this transformation? This essay is the product of a meeting of historians, … Continue reading Canadian Historical Review – article on game for history