as we begin the early planning for our Undergraduate Videogame Symposium 2015 I’ve been asked to prepare materials to help faculty understand why videogames, and what discussions from videogames add to the conversation. the nice thing is they’re all on board, they don’t need to be convinced, they simply need language – and need to understand game-like learning principle application outside of videogames, and research surrounding the actual videogame. I could write a paper, heck I could write a book to explain. But no one has time, so I need to consider short, to the point, and informational enough that faculty will understand. Then I decided including this information and resources with the CFP would help students use better language as well (yay for creating more work for myself). So, to prepare I was re-reading McGonigal’s Reality is Broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world. First I decided everyone needs to read this book (while I’m at it everyone needs to read Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy – I might as well suggest a perfect world, right). Second, I was rereading the portion where she designs an ARG to help her overcome the symptoms of a concussion. I particularly love this section for the Buffy references (a crafty friend of mine knit a coaster with the B portion of the Buffy logo for me, it’s amazing – so you can see why I love this section).

ultimately, this section reminded me of the power of ARGs not just in classes, not just at conferences, not just at specific learning events (at my panel at comicon I had a significant number of D&D leaders attend for ideas) – ARGs help us enjoy learning. I know this, but now I’m considering how to approach the dissemination of information for  #UVSNAU15 completely differently. How do I make it into a game, that faculty, deans and staff will play, so they experience game-like learning principles while learning to discuss videogame learning and it’s importance across disciplines in academia? initially the quests will be simple, engage in conversation using “game-like learning principles” for 1 point. +1 if the conversation includes multiple majors, etc. my struggle this morning is where to hide puzzles and how to engage players in collaborative learning through those hidden puzzles so they learn and practice even more.


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