Production 5: Play and Games

Pick One of the Following THREE Options

huiz_caillois_2019 pdf

1)  Play Unleashed: Based on the foundational work on play, games and culture, consider how theories of play and games might inform our understanding of ludic epistemology and significant learning. What and how do people come to know and learn and create and communicate through “serious play”- in relation to claims made by authors linking play to facets of culture, art, and creating ‘separate’ worlds and ‘magic circles’?

This will involve a bit of philosophical speculation on your part

Possible Further Questions: What are the conditions and kinds of challenges that might invite people to learn through play, and the hard work of “serious play”? And how might theories of play serve as forms of critique of traditional education methods that compartmentalize play or see it as separate from the “work” of “educating” students?

Integrate at least two key/central quotes from their (H & C’s) texts into your own discussion or arguments about the meaning of play, games, learning and culture. You don’t have to “agree” with H&C, but you do have to engage the readings to extend your own argument, or “push back”.

2) Game-Play Analysis: Theories of Play. Part 1: Your task is to ‘define’ play and/or games ala Caillois and Huizinga (consider borrowing or modifying or critiquing or extending key concepts and ‘classifications’ from their work). Try to integrate a few key quotes from their texts into your own discussion / definition.

Part 2: Then, using that definition of play, hop online or turn on your console and find a game to investigate. Figure out the rules and what you think the core element(s) of ‘ludus’ are and how that creates conditions of and for ‘play’ (see, for example, Caillois’ “classification” system below). Also, are the elements of game-play that could be improved (to enhance ‘tension’ of the game elements, or game play in general)?

Your job is to really think about what constitutes ‘playing’ in an online or console or other kind of game and to write about that experience (in relation to definitions of play and classifications of games).

classification1Option 3 Create an Ideation Game (Deck)

The aim of this design project is to create an ideation game deck that you could use to support learning and making, that is, the enactment of aims in your teachable and discipline (though interdisciplinary thinking will create a more dynamic experience, and amplify things exponentially).

  • Take the ideation/game deck and design process modeled in class.
  • Create your (multimodal) deck using whatever tools you would like (graphics software, or in powerpoint, etc) (e.g., I create multimodal decks in keynote, take screenshots, and crop the images into cards). Figure out your own best method of deck creation using whatever tools/media you wish.

CORE CHALLENGE: Create an ideation ‘card deck’, that enables people to ‘play’ a curricular challenge or learn through the processes and challenges that your deck supports, scaffolds and and activates. And/or you can create a deck that activates student-directed inquiry and research, knowledge construction, and making (as part of, or the culmination of, play).

  • Besides the card deck, what other media, materials or creative collateral/resources might be included (if any)? e.g., a game board, place-based use of mobile devices, transmedia links, etc?
  • Are there features of the cards that provide formative information or (incidental) knowledge or about the domain of learning or the practice? Or the ‘discourse practices’ of the domain (technical terms, etc)?
  • Identify what people might learn – explicitly or incidentally – through game play or interaction with the ideation deck. What ‘expectations’ does the game engagement help enact or support through the play (ideation) process, and/or the making process that the deck scaffolds?

Addressing these points, your prototype deck should be accompanied by a short set of instructions (how play works; the rules and constraints;  what people are ultimately asked to make and do (aim or goal); and what people might learn through interaction with the deck and related materials – and through related design, making and doing).

Due after Reading Week