Gaming Across the Curriculum

08Jun07

Today was Middlebury’s Library & Information Services in-service day, where all the staff gets together to do a workshop, and celebrate the end of the academic year. Inspired by the gaming lab developed for my course Media Technology & Cultural Change, the theme of today’s session was videogames. The morning started out with a brief presentation I gave on Gaming Across the Curriculum, outlining the various ways videogames might emerge into a liberal arts mission of teaching and research; we then spent a few hours exploring (i.e. playing) games, including Guitar Hero, WiiSports, DDR, and Second Life. Much fun was had, and I think we converted a few skeptics as to why games matter & might come to serve a major role in the future of education.

Here’s my slideshow for the presentation – if you have any other suggestions for significant ways that gaming matters for a liberal arts curriculum, please add your suggestions!

And shortly after posting this, I found this link to a library blog discussing serious games, a topic I briefly addressed in my talk. Definitely there’s momentum brewing for libraries/IT pushing gaming forward, probably more quickly than faculty demand emerges. Most faculty I know outside of media studies have no interest in gaming as pedagogy or research, and look at me askance when I make such suggestions. But if educational technologists are making resources available to demonstrate what can be done, that’s how I see traction being gained for faculty interest.

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