Kahne et al. and Video vs. Face-to-face Gaming for Civic Engagement

Before it even came up in Kahne et al.’s “The Civic Potential of Video Games,” I wondered if they would explore what advantage video games had over face-to-face games when it came to “engaging” civic engagement. I wondered because, since last week’s reading of Jenkins’s et al.’s “Confronting the Challenges. . .,” I’ve had simulation and an experience known as “The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.” on my mind.

Culture in Games and My Vlog

Salen and Zimmerman raise some interesting issues with culture in games, but many of those issues were already covered (adequately and in an engaging manner) by Alex’s machinima about gender in videogames. Further, I was disconcerted by the lack of videogame references in the chapter. The authors only draw on videogame examples in talking about gender; the rest of their examples come from board games or physical sports.

Gaming as Cultural Play

Salen and Zimmerman raise a number of important points in evaluating the relationship of games to culture and cultural production, but I think they leave designers an out--one they don't really have.

This out is hinted at in their discussion of transformative play. Salen and Zimmerman write, "all games reflect culture to some degree, as they are objects produced and played within culture at large. But not all games manifest transformative cultural play to actually transform culture" (507)

Does this article whose title is stuck in my head actually exist?

Quick question: For some reason, I have the title of an article stuck in my head. It's called "Gaming the University." Can anyone tell me why? Is this an actually article? Was it perhaps a presentation at CCCCs or C&W last year? In other words, does this article even exist? And yes, I did try googling it but found nothing except some article about kids in school in Vietnam. Sigh. Any help would be awesome.

Civic disobedience: unplaying the game of society

I really really liked a number of aspects in the Civic Potential of Games, especially the heartening idea that various parties are beginning to take an interest in games and the people who play them. I liked that they were looking to find ways in which players are ALREADY doing civically-minded work in-game, instead of just trying to focus on really superficial aspects like political parties advertising in Second Life, or Sim City (although they did focus on it a little bit, haha).

A (very) Rough Outline for My Seminar Project

Serious-Fun: How Gaming Builds Community

This research examines how one LGBT community center in upstate New York uses console gaming to build community, and establish individual and collective identities.

Game studies scholarship defines the parameters of play (Salen and Zimmerman, Bogost, Koster) and sets up the binary of serious and fun

This binary falls apart when we examine how fun games play a serious role in defining communities and shaping the values and practices of a community

Lit review/Theoretical approach

The Civic Potential of Video Games; Salen & Zimmerman 29-30

One of the most interesting thing about The Civic Potential of Games was the finding that boys were twice as likely as girls to have civic gaming experience, even when the fact that boys play more than girls was controlled for. I wished that the study had been able to comment on potential reasons for this gap, although I understand that it was outside the realm of the study.

The Civic Potential of Video Games

On the link below, you can find my PowerPoint presentation for Monday's class. My birthday is tomorrow, so I got a jump start.


So you want to get a PhD?

My favorite part...

Professor: A TA is slave labor for the university, You will teach fifty kids in one semester while reading 1000s of pages a week and writing hundreds of pages for your jaded professors who contemplate suicide daily. You will qualify for food stamps.

Student: I will inspire students to think critically about literature.

Professor: The only thing students will think critically about is how to lie to you about why they didn’t complete papers on time for your class.


Free MMO Closed Beta!

I got 2 closed beta keys for the upcoming Chinese-American MMORPG Forsaken World. Its from a developer that is at the forefront of changing the pricing model for games: free to play with optional micro-transactions for aesthetics. The closed beta starts tomorrow. Email me if you'd like one of the keys. You can find out more info about the game at http://fw.perfectworld.com/

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