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April 23, 2010

I am speaking at Games For Change's Power of Design workshop

The Power of Design: Youth Making Social Issue Games

Games for Change is excited to present a day-long workshop on game design programs for youth on Monday May 24th - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - as part of this year's Games for Change Festival at The New School in New York City.

We created this workshop especially for teachers, after school program leaders, and mentors who want to leverage the enthusiasm for games to create an innovative learning experience that incorporates many of the skills youth need to thrive in today's world. Some of the key questions we will tackle include: Why is game creation good for learning? How do you structure a successful program that optimally uses game design for learning? What works for what age groups? What kind of teacher/staff prep is required? Can youth game development help improve skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)? How can social issues be integrated into the game design program?

The workshop will feature creators of exemplary game design programs, a close look at some of the amazing game design software now available, and indispensable advice for setting up your own youth game design program.

For more information and to register for this workshop visit http://www.gamesforchange.org/f-program-2010#edu Individuals may register for this workshop only (select "Youth Game Design Workshop Only" on your registration) or in combination with the the four-day Games for Change Festival.


The Power of Design: Youth Making Social Issue Games
Panels and Speakers:

Why is designing games good for learning?
Alan Gershenfeld, Founder, E-Line Media; Leah Gilliam, Director of Projects, Institute of Play/Quest to Learn; Elisabeth Hayes, Arizona State University, TechSavvy Girls

Empowering Youth and Accelerating Learning through Game Creation with Globaloria
Idit Caperton, President and Founder, World Wide Workshop; David Lowenstein, Globaloria State Director, West Virginia Public Schools; Shannon Sullivan, Globaloria Program Director and Executive Producer; Laura Minnigerode, Globaloria Research Manager; East Austin College Prep Academy, Texas.
In this panel, members of the management team of the World Wide Workshop present Globaloria, the first-of-its-kind social network for game-making where participants learn complex concepts and school subjects by creating web-games about social issues and educational topics; they work independently and in small teams to develop their original games from an idea to a finished product. Launched in 2006, Globaloria pilots have reached over 1500 participants (youth and adults) in various public schools and universities, corporate education programs, summer camps and youth groups worldwide.

Review of Game Creation Platforms
Eric Nunez, Parsons The New School

Colleen Macklin, Parsons The New School; John Sharp, Savannah College of Art and Design

Game Creation Software Demos

Game Design and STEM Learning
Rafael Fajardo, P4 Games; Scott Leutenegger, P4 Games; Karen Michaelson, Founder and Director, Tincan

Evaluating Game Design Programs
Alex Games, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Michigan State University; Principal Investigator, Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab, and Jim Diamond, Research Associate, EDC/Center for Children and Technology

Spreading Serious Game Design: Global Kids' Playing For Keeps Capacity Building Program
This panel will explore how Global Kids' successful serious game design program, originally created as for an afterschool context, was redesigned to scale and spread to libraries, public housing computer labs, in-school tech clubs, and public school classrooms. Representatives from each site will report on their experiences and details will be shared about the professional development program developed to support their implementations. Results from an independent evaluation will be shared and the final work produced by participating youth will be shown. Thaddeus Miles, Director of Public Safety, MassHousing, H. Jack Martin, Assistant Director for Public Programs and Lifelong Learning, The New York Public Library, Marc Lesser, Education Director, MOUSE, Selen Turkay, graduate student, Teacher's College, Otis H., Global Kids Youth Leader. Moderated by Barry Joseph, Online Leadership Director, Global Kids.

A Closer Look at Game Design Programs for Youth
Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Club Tech;
Quest to Learn - an overview of how to teach game design to middle school students using Gamestar Mechanic and Atmosphir, Al Doyle, teacher, and Quest to Learn student game makers.

Reception to follow.

The Power of Design: Youth Making Social Issue Games is made possible by generous support of the AMD Foundation.

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at 12:00 PM

April 15, 2010

Sterling annotates Babbage, finds reference to computer games

Bruce Sterling, on his blog, Beyond the Beyond, (re)read some of the papers of Charles Babbage and found a reference to a programmed game of "tit tat too" (tic tac toe?). Sterling's annotations are within triple parentheses. This shows that computer games were present at the birth of mechanical computation, and presages their existence during the current age of digital electronic computation.

Now it may happen in addition that two or more numbers being added together, there may not be room at the top of the column for the left hand figure of the result. This would usually happen from an oversight in preparing or arranging the cards when space should be left; but it might so happen that the calculation led, as mathematical problems sometimes do, through infinity. In either case a bell would be rung and the engine stopped (((bug)))

This principle of “Chain” is used also to govern the engine in those cases where the mathematician himself is not able to say beforehand what may happen, and what course is to be pursued, but has to let it depend on the intermediate result of the calculation arrived at. (((generative art))) He may wish to shape it in different ways according as one or several events may occur, and “Chain” gives him the power to do it mechanically. By this contrivance machines to play simple games of skill such as “tit tat too” have been designed. (((computer games)))

It could follow the processes of the mathematician be they tentative or direct, wherever he could show the way to any number of numerical results. It is only a question of cards and time. Fabrics have been woven requiring several thousand cards. I possess one made by the aid of over twenty thousand cards, and there is no reason why an equal number of cards should not be used if necessary, in an Analytical Engine for the purposes of the mathematician. (((software libraries)))

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at 12:00 PM