June 13, 2008

Advisory Board at Play

by Mary Flanagan · , 5:00 pm

On Wednesday June 4th, our Values at Play advisory board met to discuss year two of the VAP project:
Tracy Fullerton (USC, Co-founder and director of the EA Game Innovation Lab), Celia Pearce (Georgia Tech, Director of the Experimental Game Lab), Katie Salen (Parsons, Executive Director of the Gamelab Institute of Play), and Jesper Juul (video game researcher at GAMBIT, MIT), together with myself and Helen Nissenbaum (NYU) and students at the Tiltfactor lab. We discussed our findings for our first year of project assessment and future plans. In games, human values are at play all of the time; it is critical that these are expressed through relationships between design, system, and players. In games, values are expressed through relationships. So we continued our development of the curriculum and assessment of curricular materials in the project.

In the last year, five colleges and universities were involved with using the Values at Play curriculum in the classroom–Georgia Tech, UCSD (a fellow blogger might have been an instigator!), USC, RIT, and Hunter); the students reported on pre-tests, post-tests, journals, and games and designs. Our initial findings are being written up and we’re looking for more teaching partners to help study the curriculum.

The people involved are the tops in game design education… so if you are teaching a course in game design, take a look at the curriculum resources and use them if they are useful. Better yet, see if you’d be interested in incorporating a bit of research into the class. The research shapes the curriculum we help develop in the future and the research results will benefit all kinds of courses around the world!! We will be publishing results of this first major round of research in a bit; some interesting materials have emerged about thinking about human values in the game design process. Stay tuned.

2 Responses to “Advisory Board at Play”

  1. noah Says:

    I recommend the grow-a-game cards to everyone! They sparked good thinking in both my undergrad and grad courses this Winter.

  2. mary Says:

    great, noah. that’s good to hear. we have about 100 left of an initial 500 card order, and folks can email the vap project if they are interested!

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