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Session Name:

Serious Play: At The Edge of Education Gaming


A collection of the most prominent academic and serious game developers go beyond show and tell to demonstrate case studies of design solutions which explicitly address social issues, values issues, and educational concerns. The goal of the session is to not only raise awareness but to present the successes and pitfalls of this alternate game making approach.

To this end, Ian Bogost details a case study showing the effectiveness of a political game, while detailing the challenges faced in distilling real world issues into simple web-based games. Randy Pausch, creator of the ALICE program at Carnegie Mellon, discusses how his teams efforts to teach computer programming over a 10 year research period have led them to using games as one form of programming education. John Maloney presents his latest project SCRATCH, and discusses whether or not creating games using the environment helps make a better learning tool. Mary Flanagan discusses the values questions in developing educational games targeted at a neglected audience: middle school minority girls, demonstrating the tensions in character representation and game design between what the target audience desired and the game developers and interested stakeholders wished to create. Finally, Ken Perlin shows several educational game prototypes in mini-case studies to see which approach to play is effective for computer science and language learning.

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  • GDC 2006
  • Ian Bogost
  • The Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Mary Flanagan
  • Tiltfactor Lab, Dartmouth College
  • Caitlin Kelleher
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • John Maloney
  • MIT
  • Ken Perlin
  • Noise Machine
  • free content
  • SGS: Serious Game Design
  • Serious Games