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IGDA GDC Education Curriculum Workshop Announces Speakers

IGDA GDC Education Curriculum Workshop Announces Speakers

January 29, 2007 | By Beth A. Dillon

January 29, 2007 | By Beth A. Dillon
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More: Console/PC, Student/Education

The International Game Developers Association Game Education Special Interest Group has announced its speakers for the Curriculum Workshop to be held at this March's Game Developers Conference, including EA's Doug Church and Persuasive Games' Ian Bogost.

Aimed at teachers, students, and developers interested in conversations between education and industry, this two-day workshop will focus on innovation and best practices in curriculum design and teaching methods for game development education. In addition to working roundtables, panels, and international case blasts, the workshop features keynotes and hands-on sessions.

Doug Church, a long time industry developer and participant in Industry/Academy communications, will discuss some hopes and fears about the collaboration. The bulk of the talk will consider what things might look like in the future and what opportunities (and obstacles) are still ahead.

Nick Fortugno, gameLab, will lead a non-digital hands-on Design Workshop to address designing games for educational purposes as a process that requires new thoughts on both education and game creation. The workshop will pose: What does it mean to make a game? How do you make that "fun"?

In the session "Teaching Methods," attendees will break into groups to brainstorm on specific topics which might include managing the scope of student game projects, building interdisciplinary student teams, assigning games as "texts" for game studies courses, issues in building and maintaining game libraries, models for inter-institutional collaboration, balancing theory and practice, and competitions and festivals as learning objectives.

Opening the second day of the Curriculum Workshop, Katherine Isbister from RPI will moderate an Industry panel on game research with Ian Bogost from Persuasive Games, Jim Dargie from Electronic Arts, Jeremy Gordon from Secret Level, John Hopson from Microsoft's Games User Research Group, and Doug Whatley from BreakAway Games. Panelists will discuss how they find the time to do research (if they do at all), what pressing research questions they have and why, what they wish academics were studying that would help them in their work, as well as success stories (and caveats) about incorporating a research agenda into commercial work.

In the midst of additional working groups, Kurt Squire of UW-Madison will lead the session "Curricular Models." Squire will pose: What are the best practices for studying games? What effective pedagogical models are emerging? How do teachers balance the needs for understanding the technical aspects of the medium with the demands of scholarship? Participants are intended to take away both a better understanding of the landscape of game studies as well as strategies for developing game-based curricula.

Early Bird registration for GDC (which is run by the CMP Game Group, as is Gamasutra/GameCareerGuide) ends January 31, 2007. IGDA Members receive an additional $50 discount. For registration information, interested parties can visit the IGDA Education SIG Curriculum Workshop website.

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