Notes from HangOut of 22nd of April

We talked a little about locating critics of arguments or key players to get a batter scoping of the issues. There is a lot of noise and promotional stuff in this space but a good critic can provide useful insights into the issue you may be pursuing.

Rather than skip down the list of names, places and sites1, we looked at argument clusters, i.e. the questions being asked about games/digital culture and education. We ended up with this rough list:

  • The justify the use of games cluster. This is the set of interests that look to find evidence that game playing is valuable. The narrower subset of this idea set is folk who seek to justify games as being good for school-based learning.
  • The integrate games cluster. This overlaps a little with the justify cluster. Integration as we have seen is a 30 year old project in schools2.
  • The get kids to build games cluster3. This cluster maps back to the early days when teachers used things like computer-generated quizzes, crosswords and simulations to generate classroom materials for students. Some realised that to make such items you actually had to know a great deal about the content. So they got kids to build them. Some games have a built-in programmability in them which might serve a similar purpose.
  • The education is really a game cluster. This set of ideas is interested in applying the logics or mechanics of games to formal education processes. In many respects this has been the case for a long time4.

The conversation then turned to kicking around some ideas that were of interest to the group.

The Bogost paper mentioned in the notes for this week drew heavily on George Lakoff's ideas, particularly what he terms framing.

There was some discussion of crowd sourcing, prompted by the crowd sourcing of the identification of the Boston marathon bombers.There wa of Ushahidi, a platform that was built by crowd sourcing5 to support crowd sourcing. There was comment about how different school is to this way of working. In school everyone does the same thing and is measured against the same metric, cf. crowdsourcing where individuals bring their own specialism to contribute to solving a particular problem. Crowdsourcing has been made something of a romantic notion by some6.

There was also some discussion of pro-ams7