Do games change people? For better or for worse? Can games make people want war (more peaceful or more warlike) etc?
So many games have violence. Even Hello Kitty’s Roller Adventure has fighting! Daughter plays when 5, throws down controller, “Hello Kitty doesn’t fight!” - starts crying. “What the hell is wrong with us?”
Why are video games so violent?
video games enable a world where you can do whatever you want, no one gets hurt, and verbal communication is awkward or impossible (guy heaven!)
Is simulated violence bad?
- some day yes because it will lead to real violence
- catharsis - get it out of your system in a fictional world
- violent crime has gone down as video game popularity rose - could it be a cause and effect situation?
Theory of fun
- games are about stripping away the garbage and getting to the abstract heart of the problem
- gamers are learning strategies, not the violence and gore etc
- …or is that desensitization of violence?
The Columbine concern
- Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence
- early 20th century soldiers (WWII etc) often couldn’t shoot when they needed to - not desensitized - less will to fire at human beings
- we have put the pop-up human figures used in today’s training in the hands of all children
Exploring in a safe and controlled context
- not quite catharsis, but if you can play with your angry feelings and being in a situation of violence, you will have better control when those situations show up in real life
- take away toy guns from boys, they’ll use sticks to shoot at each other - gives a way to play with these situations
- why don’t we have orcs in the real world - you keep killing them and the world becomes a better place
- big jump between other animals and humans
- they were Neanderthals - what happened to them? - “I think we killed them all. Because that’s how we roll.”
- Maybe it’s in our nature to destroy things that are competing with us that are alien
- “On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog”
- Is it possible that not being able to see who you are connecting with without seeing what they look like will break down barriers?
Games changing points of view
- Hayley’s story (hunting) - made her appreciate hunting, accept violence and mended strife with her sister
- PeaceMaker - Isreal and Palestine - students were trivializing the solution - “if those guys would just stop being jerks, everything would be fine” - you play the other side, showing you to the solution isn’t as obvious or easy as you thought
- other media can’t show us the complexity or let us experience how the systems work the way games do
What drives real world violence?
- violence is communication - I’m going to make you understand how I feel right now
- if this is true, if we can have games help people communicate better, this could have huge repercussions
- Facebook seems trivial, but it’s changing the world because it allows people to communicate (“Facebook revolution”)
- when you really care what your games do to people, people can feel it and appreciate it - someone else cares what I accomplish
- violence comes easy
- desensitization to violence
- video games train to kill
- humans inherently racist?
- control of situations
- no more race/language barriers?
- see other peoples’ point of view
- 21st century is going to be a war for human attention
- These four groups will fight the war: persuaders, fulfillers (most game designers, entertainment, etc fall here - want to fulfill the wishes and fantasies people have), artists (make a statement, advance the medium, bring to life something that wasn’t there), humanitarians (how we can make things that will make us into better people mentally, spiritually)
- Who will win?
“If we were better game designers, couldn’t it be the olympics all the time?”
Awareness games - Indiana University - passion for introspection
Game design and games - a tool for reflection?
Games support awareness of concepts, reflections on assumptions (similar to blogs), testing of hypotheses
Make games explicitly combine these things - how can we design games to support a reflective experience in such a way that it really benefits players? How to get feedback from players to improve this? All while staying fun??
Virtual pets have potential but current titles don’t have the mechanics needed
-> Dream Kindlers
Embedded Writing in Educational Games
Games can change the way we learn <-> empirical research can change the way we game
Several emotions that are shared between learning and gaming, especially flow/engagement and frustration
Education: Engagement = learning
Games: Engagement = fun
Overt: observable (facial expressions, verbalization, behavior, etc)
Covert: hidden (cognition, motivation, flow, engagement, attitude, emotion)
Physiological data can help get objective, quantitative data?
engagement, arousal, mental effort, attention, excitement, etc
Why measure engagement?
dynamic difficulty adjustment
expand demographics, adjust flow for them
time on task
Two cheap methods different from previous talks
Quantitative field observations / expert judgments
Peripheral vision, side glances - non-obtrusive when students are used to it
Can tell if they are collaborative, gaming the system, positive affect, flow, boredom, frustration, etc
Affect different in the field than in the lab
Try to detect in real time without sensors (cheaper, but not as accurate)
How does affect differ between a game and an intelligent tutoring system?
Mathblaster vs. Aplusix -> part of each that covers the exact same content
Engaged concentration: 76% vs 63%
Delight: 6% vs 12%
Apparently $20 billion spent on k-12 educational technology - was it worth it?
CFY - incorporate digital assets into the classroom, home, and beyond - focus on low income
Student centered lens on education:
Traditionally teacher centered, parents on periphery
Student-centered lens puts the child front and center, support from teacher AND parent
This pushes boundaries of education to go beyond the classroom
Fancy does not matter - the software creates conversations between people face to face - how do we make our software part of the conversation?
The problem: deficit in understanding of science skills in US
People need to know how to critically evaluate descriptions of research, advertising
Intelligent tutoring system
Cover research methodology from psychology to biology
Story is aliens invaded the earth, bureau of science calls you in to find out why
Interactive text module, case studies module, interrogation module
Available through Pearson Education starting in 2012
Mission: what patterns of design can be applied to games in the classroom...
Not commercial games, but prototypes used to ask various questions
Vary social, emotional, ergonomic factors
Evolving form factors is important! Use Kinect, iPhone, etc
(This talk went too fast - couldn’t keep up - showed lots of neat examples of the types of games created and studied)
Playing Portal 2 - physics
Building rooms for Portal 2
Zombies game - characters react according to what the players do - use for autism therapy
Games as a pro-social training ground
Economic opportunity - line between author and audience blurs, create opportunities to contribute
I hate the excuse that people making educational software use to not work as hard as people who think they’re making commercial games...
21st century competency - important - educational has not changed much in 100 years
today’s kids need whole new skill set - e.g. creativity, collaboration, communication
no consensus on the taxonomies of 21st century competencies
Need to rethink assessment for these skills
Games: unnecessary obstacles we choose to overcome/tackle
Good game elements
- interactive problem solving
- specific goals to obtain and rules to follow
- adaptive challenges (balance between difficulty and ability, flow)
- offer players control
- provide ongoing feedback
- elements of uncertainty
- provide sensory stimuli
When these elements come together in a game it gives some sort of magical experience
- What do you want to say about the person? (competency model)
- What observations would provide best evidence for what you want to say (evidence model)
- What kinds of tasks let you make the necessary observations (task-action model)
- seamless and ubiquitous
- extract ongoing information from a learner
- make accurate inferences of competencies
- react in immediate and helpful ways
“Videogames look like they’re about the things that they picture, by they are not. They are intricate rituals carved out of physics and thought and math and emotion.”
- Frank Lantz
Why does it matter? Why should public media support games?
"Role of public media is giving control of content over to the audience." via Silvia Lovato, PBS
krash63 Kristi Miller Durazo
You cant just throw content at kids ( or grownups). Give them a scaffolding...games as a scaffold. Like the analogy.
superid101 James M. Bower
I heard that PBS kids online gets heat from PBS because of their growing use numbers - "taking audience from TV"
Distribution and competition for attention
Games as art
PRSoapbox Colleen Campbell
Design a game that would leave the place the game was played a better place somehow (leave a positive impact).
Lots of ideas came in, including the expects “pick up garbage” concept. Talking to strangers.
Design challenge winners “Commons” didn’t change the actual space but had a layer on top in some way.
Commons game design:
Live blog notes:
Find the Future: The Game
devonvsmith Devon Smith
devonvsmith Devon Smith
Museum of Moving Image
nerdcorejourn Thomas Chan
G4C Games for Change
greenghoulie Pete Vigeant
Interpretation of innovation and improvement in terms of education?
G4C Games for Change
Politics requires safety and innovation requires risk - how to deal with this?
Pressure to teach to the test
devonvsmith Devon Smith
SandersAK adrian sanders
MathEvolve Adam Coccari
LaylaTab Layla Tabatabaie
G4C Games for Change