January 24, 2024

Can Games Disturb Your Social Biases Without Disturbing You?

Card games are more often associated with family-gatherings or leisurely afternoons than with realizing social change. However, one group of game designers is creating games with an aim to do just that.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 4.39.04 PMTiltfactor Lab, a Dartmouth College research laboratory with Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor Mary Flanagan at the helm, is dedicated to “creating games for social change.” They designed and produce Buffalo—described by Amazon reviewers as an “extremely simple,” “adaptable” party game—and Awkward Moment—and is “an interesting, family-friendly card game that is worthy of your attention” and “makes you laugh”— provide more than just endless fun at parties. According to a paper to be printed in CyberPsychology’s upcoming issue devoted to the prosocial effects of games, Buffalo and Awkward Moment are also games with a proven purpose. These games have been shown to change players’ implicit biases without them ever knowing!

June 24, 2016

Flanagan keynotes at Oxford Internet Institute

from Tiltfactor
by @ 10:11 am

Tiltfactor’s director gave day one’s closing keynote at Connected Life 2016: Collective Action and the Internet, a two day-long conference, held at the University of Oxford on 20th and 21st June 2016. The conference is dedicated to igniting multidisciplinary exchanges on internet research across information studies, digital humanities, psychology, engineering, business, health, and computer science. This is an excellent gathering focused on emerging research that brims with promise for the further of tech scholarship. @OxConnectedLife

July 7, 2014

Geoff Attends Human Computation Roadmap Summit in DC

from tiltfactor
by @ 6:00 am

Tiltfactor researcher Geoff recently represented the lab (and the Metadata Games project in particular) at the 2014 Human Computation Roadmap Summit, held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, from June 18-20. This 2.5 day workshop, which brought together a diverse array of scholars, researchers, and industry representatives from the field of human computation, focused on identifying key success stories and laying out potential future research directions concerning the use of various facets of human computation (including systems such as crowdsourcing platforms, social networks, and online games) for the betterment of society. In addition to utilizing a number of unique and creative approaches to trigger thought and discussion (e.g., an illuminating conversation with scientist and author David Brin centering on the value of science fiction in highlighting future horizons for human computation), the summit gave participants the opportunity to form smaller working groups to devise and iteratively refine a set of detailed research roadmaps for the potential employment of human computation to address a particular social cause or issue.

May 16, 2012

Tiltfactor Director Mary Flanagan to speak at Prominent Art and Game Symposia

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:00 am

(PDF version here)



Dr. Mary Flanagan, director of Tiltfactor Laboratory and Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College, will deliver several talks this summer and fall on such topics as critical play, games as an art form, and games as a medium for social change. Scheduled venues include the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Games for Change Festival, and the IndieCade Conference.

March 7, 2012

Bio Art: An Overview of New Media’s Thriving Sibling. by Hannah Collman

from tiltfactor
by @ 7:45 pm

The term “New Media” is expanding, since its emergence out of Pop Art, Fluxus, and other earlier movements, to mean many things. It is digital, it is interactive, it is dynamic, it is animated, it is dangerously hactivist…it is an expression of changing times and cultures, of the horizon called the future coming closer to us. One particular instance of New Media which has branched out into its own discipline is “Bio Art,” such as that practiced by British artist Jane Prophet in her project Silver Heart, seen below.

February 14, 2012

Walk Like An Avatar, by Goyo

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:56 am

by goyo


February 6, 2012

The Man and the Machine by Hannah Collman

from tiltfactor
by @ 3:53 pm

“Our machines are disturbingly lively, while we ourselves are frighteningly inert.”

Kenneth laughs, quoting the prophecy of Donna Haraway. He wiggles his fingers limply as the cyborg pins him to the wall. “It’s quite apt, don’t you think?” He turns to me and grins. “Who knew that giving all artificial lifeforms links to communicate with each other would lead to this? Now I’m the canvas, and this– this machine, the painter…” He turns and stares the creature in its webcam. “What’s your name, then?”


August 25, 2009

oh oh multitasking

from tiltfactor
by @ 7:05 pm

Social communications expert Clifford Nass, with researchers Eyal Ophir and Anthony Wagner, Stanford University, just completed a study of multitasking and productivity among college students. The resulting paper, “Cognitive control in media multitaskers,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The results of “digital overload” were similar to past research: multitasking does not make one more productive. See the CNN article here. Do you self identify as a ‘chronic media multitasker’?

Blog collaboration recognized

from tiltfactor
by @ 5:38 pm

How nice that Grand Text Auto, a collaboratively written blog to which Tiltfactor contributes, is recommended in the 100 best blogs for new media students. This nice long list should serve as an excellent resource for students and scholars alike!

August 5, 2009

critical play coming your way!

from tiltfactor
by @ 4:46 pm

It looks like we have a bound book date for Critical Play, Mary Flanagan’s new book! The time is now! watch for it.

Eric Zimmerman says, “In Critical Play, Flanagan uncovers a secret history of games buried deep inside folk culture, experimental media, and the world of art. Critical Play should be required reading for anyone who cares about the cultural importance and future potential of games.”

Tiltfactor says, “HURRAY!” and is exited to launch the book.

July 3, 2009

Games & Transnationality Panel – Games, Learning, & Society

from tiltfactor
by @ 3:47 am

Games are a global medium, and to theorists such as Lisa Nakamura at the Games, Learning, and Society Conference 2009, one cannot separate the construction of digital games into particular cultures and practices. Having one national “essense” or sensibility is entirely fictional, Nakamura notes, because games are very global in their production practices and marketing practices. Nakamura brings up theorist Martin Lister (New Media: A Critical Introduction, 2003 ) to support her position, as Lister notes that “the videogame is the most thoroughly transnational form of popular culture, both as an industry” and “content” such as characters and stories.

May 29, 2009

Inspirational Examples

from tiltfactor
by @ 12:56 am

Heads up from Frank Lantz at Games for Change 2009 for some inspirational examples of games helping us understand social change. Check out the blog Overcoming Bias, by economist Robin Hanson;  Intuition Games’ Gray game, which has players attempt to get players in a mob to switch sides; the phenomenon of “Kidney Chains,” where nonsimultaneous altruistic organ donations, if organized, can occur in optimally useful networks. Lantz talked about the practice of Min – Maxing in games, and the kidney chain is a game-like optimal solution to solving a social issue (there are 60,000 people waiting for kidney transplants at a given time). Finally he discussed optimal social solutions: complexity theorist Bruce Sawhill has noted,  “You no longer want to find the best solution — you want to be living in a space of good solutions, so when the problem changes, you’re still there.”

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