Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2016 Archive

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The local games lab

GRASSROOTS ENGAGEMENT WITH GAMES, LEARNING, MOBILE, AND PLACE

1 June 2016

A Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation seminar.

Because video games are complex media properties, their design and use in the name of learning has often been limited to researchers and publishers of significant means. More recently, however, new tools and changes to the world at large - especially the near ubiquitous adoption of smartphones - have opened up new, more accessible avenues. Games can become something much more akin to vernacular. However, hardware and software are not the only obstacles to meaningful change. It is necessary to rethink our assumptions and traditions regarding who is allowed in the driver’s seat, and develop participatory models of research, implementation, and interpretation.

One such model is a "Local games lab", a name for what happens when early adopters can develop experience and expertise to recruit and support diverse participation in game use and design in their immediate area. The name also refers to the dimension of place as a strong organising principle, allowing us to bring together diverse stakeholders and an aspect of game design that may be only ever entertained outside the commercial mainstream. By learning how to grow and sustain game development and use within individual communities, we may be able to reach more than enthusiasts and institutions, and greatly increase the capacity for many to see games as general tools for expression and purpose.

Since 2008, I have been involved in educational game design myself at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and recruited other faculty, students, and community members into the mix as a way to help them achieve their own ambitions through design: the Local Games Lab ABQ. We have developed a tradition of exploration, development and sharing, although we lack the institutional or economic resources to establish and organise such a “center”. In this talk I’d like to share some the history of the Local Games Lab ABQ: our projects and their aims, but also how our local work connects us to themes that extend beyond the provincial: how games, place, and learning comes together in augmented reality, how tools like ARIS – an open-source, easy-to-use augmented reality platform – have both enabled us to create and make use of games and to contribute back to the emerging affinity spaces of those exploring game design for learning across many locales.

This seminar will not be available online or recorded.

Event details

  • When: 11.30am–1pm

  • Where: Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
    Education Building A35
    Click image for interactive map.

  • Cost: Free

  • RSVP: Not necessary

  • Contact: Sadhbh Warren
    T: +61 9351 2612
    E: sadhbh.warren@sydney.edu.au

  • More info: Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch to eat during the event.

  • Speaker: Chris Holden is an associate professor in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. He participates in and studies place-based game design in various contexts, from language learning to community action, in classrooms, museums and community centers. A major goal is to enable and encourage people to make games and other interactive experiences to develop new forms of meaning within their local natural, cultural, and educational environments.

The local games lab

Where Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
Education Building A35
Click image for interactive map.

When

1 June 2016


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