Get Your Tickets Now For The Ninth Annual Games for Change Festival
5.29.12 | Time is running out to buy your tickets to the 9th annual Games for Change Festival coming up June 18–20 in New York City. Registration deadline is June 8.
Games for Change has been a leader in promoting video games that have a social impact. The festival brings together funders, non-profit groups, government agencies, educators and game developers of all kinds. For the past several years, the festival has included the Games for Learning Institute, a research-based conference track where attendees can hear directly from researchers and practitioners about how games can be used to transform learning in and out of the classroom.
Jane McGonigal, Nolan Bushnell, and James Paul Gee will be among the keynote speakers this year. We’ve written quite a bit about game designer Jane McGonigal’s work before. Her book, “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World,” argues that video games can help improve our lives and solve real world problems. She’s also known for her work on alternative reality games like “World Without Oil” and “Find the Future,” a game she created for the 100-year anniversary of the New York Public Library.
Bushnell is founder of Atari Corporation, and considered by many to be one of the “fathers” of the video game industry itself. Gee, a linguist, is one of the leading voices in promoting games for learning. He is professor at Arizona State University and will open the Games for Learning Institute conference program. (See Kelsey’s recent post on why Gee says education should be more like a well-designed video game.) Gee’s latest book, co-authored with Elisabeth Hayes, is “Language and Learning in the Digital Age.”
“There’s a lot to be said about the gaps and things we need to do to get educators more comfortable with games,” Games for Change Co-President Asi Burak told Spotlight last year. “It’s not their problem; it’s our problem. We should make it as easy for them to adapt games to their classroom as possible.”
To that end, educators who attend the festival can learn about easy-to-use tools for making and using digital games in their classrooms—from drag-and-drop software to more complex programming tools. Panelists will also discuss age-appropriate tools for getting students involved in game design.
Kellian Adams and Rachel Meskin of Green Door Labs will discuss a collaborative location-based game, “Agents of Change,” they are designing for museums in Washington, D.C., and for the Girl Scouts of America. Representatives from iCivics, and Filament Games will discuss the challenges of getting schools to use games as part of the regular curriculum—including how to get good games in front of teachers by reaching educators on platforms they’re already using in schools. That’s a discussion you don’t want to miss.
You can view the complete line-up of speakers at Games for Change. If a trip to New York City is not in the cards, not to worry. We’ll post the video archives as soon as they are available. And you can read lots more about gaming in the classroom at Spotlight.
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