April 17, 2007

Juul and Faifman on Wednesday

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 12:56 am

Jesper Juul and Judith Faifman will be speaking at UCSD on Wednesday from noon to 2pm. All welcome! Official information follows…

What is Game Literacy? Two presentations on playing and reading games

Noon- 2pm, Wednesday, April 18th
San Diego Supercomputer Center Auditorium

On Wednesday, April 18, 2007, two international authorities will examine video gaming and literacy, from the perspective of the game maker and the player. Both talks will be delivered from 12 noon to 2pm in the auditorium of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, based at UC San Diego.

Jesper Juul: “Sorry, but You Can’t Do That: How We Make Sense of Video Games”

Contrary to popular belief, Juul suggests that there have been many Citizen Kanes of video games, games created with a deep understanding of the medium, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of what the medium can express (e.g., StarCraft, as well as the Legend of Zelda and Grand Theft Auto series). These are, however, also Citizen Kanes in the sense that they are hard to play, and that they speak primarily to a specialized market of players with prior experience with video games.

In this talk Juul argues we are really missing the video game equivalent of The Da Vinci Code or Night at the Museum, somewhat shallow but easily enjoyable games that require no specialized knowledge to use or understand. The question therefore becomes to understand gaming literacy: to identify the conventions and cues that trained gamers understand, but which are incomprehensible to the uninitiated.

Jesper Juul is one of the leading figures in the emerging field of computer game studies. He is a video game theorist and assistant professor in video game theory and design at the Centre for Computer Game Research Copenhagen where he also earned his Ph.D. His book Half-Real on video game theory was published by MIT Press in 2005. Additionally, he is a developer of multi-user chat systems and casual games.

Judith Faifman: “Thinking Outside the Game Box”

Faifman will discuss how game production impacts on and shapes modes of thought, and how new media literacies can promote social inclusion for students from low income and minority families. Her work has explored the expressive reception by children and youth of multiple systems of representation in both formal and non-formal educational settings. She considers these representational forms’ impact on the development of metacognitive and metalinguistic capacities. In this talk she will discuss her work with kids and gaming in Buenos Aires schools, and the aim of thinking beyond established norms of computer game play formats.

Judith Faifman is an educator concerned with Critical Digital Pedagogies; their opportunities, risks and challenges. Faifman is Co-Director of the Digital Cultures Research and Design Group (www.culturasdigitales.org) which since its foundation in 1997 has sought to integrate new digital cultures into existing educational environments. This group is currently collaborating with the National Ministry of Education in Argentina in the development of youth media production. Faifman is also founder and Co-Director of the Media Lab at Talpiot School which promotes participation in new media production by children from kindergarten to high school students. She is currently seeking to provide solid theoretical foundations for digital pedagogical practice for social inclusion and rigorously examine the outcomes achieved.

3 Responses to “Juul and Faifman on Wednesday”

  1. noah Says:

    Thanks to all who came to the talks!

    For those who couldn’t make it, I’ve been told that the presentations will soon be available in video form at http://cichannel.org

    Also, we might see some video shortly (of talks and interview) from Jonathan Mann over at http://www.gamejew.com

  2. Fox Harrell Says:

    Sounds great. Thanks for the effort of making the videos available to the public. Great, necessary work you are doing there at UCSD.

  3. noah Says:

    Thanks! But I shouldn’t take all the credit. Mike Cole and Brian Goldfarb did at least as much as I did for this event. And there are quite a few other folks on campus making interesting things happen…

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