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Friday, June 14 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm

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This individual papers session, ”Pro-Social”, will include the following:

Investigating a Supportive Online Gaming Community as a Means of Reducing Stereotype Threat Vulnerability Across Gender
We explore the relationship between online gaming communities (which literature shows act as informal learning environments) and experience in game culture, which has been shown to be inequitable, harassing and otherwise unsupportive to certain players, like females. Specifically, this study explores the experiences of gamers in gaming clans, both explicitly gender supportive and not, to see if they can serve as protective spaces for vulnerable players. Ultimately, the goal is to inform the design of equitable gaming environments.
Gabriela Richard, Christopher Hoadley

Tunnel Tail: Successful game developer-educator collaboration
This paper describes the development process for Tunnel Tail, a game developed in tandem by a traditional game studio and nonprofit organizations, and released in 2012. Two factors condition the game design: the educational goals and the caveat that the target audience responds negatively to any heavy handed attempts at education through games. By employing their expertise, the companies are able to come up with a solution that satisfies the educational and game design goals. This paper explains the approach taken, why it worked for the parties involved, what were the risks associated with it and when and how to adopt a similar approach.
Francisco Souki

Life Imitates Art:  Embodying Focused Attention and Pro-Social Behavior in the Tenacity Project Collaboration
Educators have long been concerned with not only the development and transmission of knowledge in the classroom, but also in the social and moral development of children (Noddings, 2002).  Educational researchers are beginning to explore how the use of games can facilitate these many domains of learning.  To this end, the Games+Learning+Society center has joined in collaboration with the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds in a project called Tenacity.   A major goal of this project was to build games to cultivate skills in 8th grade students to prepare them for high school and college success (rooted in attention training derived from contemplative practices,  empathy, and compassion).  The work pivots around the development of two iPad games: Tenacity, a game cultivating the self-regulation of focused attention using breath counting; and Crystals of Kaydor, an RPG designed to cultivate the development of pro-social behavior, particularly sensitivity to the non-verbal communication of others and skill at collaborative, cooperative and kind social interactions. In the latter, learning objectives such as the accurate identification of emotions from facial expressions and choosing the most productive responses to these emotions (e.g. Ekman, 2007) have been interwoven into a virtual landscape in which players most complete missions to assist the native population and eventually be able to return to her/his home planet.   Creating both of these games was a wonderfully rich collaborative process of connecting the practice of breath awareness & pro-social content to data-driven iterative game design.   The next phase of our collaborative work entails a rigorous examination of the neural and behavioral changes produced by playing each of these games over the course of a two-week period.  This paper provides an account -- as well as emergent best-practices  -- of the cross-disciplinary work done in the Tenacity project to connect the power of attention, learning, and games.  
Mike Beall, V. Elizabeth Owen, Stefan Slater, Amy Smith, Enrique Solis, Constance Steinkuehler, Richard J. Davidson

Bob Coulter, Discussant

avatar for Bob Coulter

Bob Coulter

Director, Litzsinger Road Ecology Center (Missouri Botanical Garden)
I spend most of my time thinking about ways to get kids excited about learning and taking action in the community. A good part of this involves games they design with MIT's Taleblazer and StarLogo Nova tools, or in playing Equations, a really cool math game.

avatar for Mike Beall

Mike Beall

Project Leader, Learning Games Network
I am a Game Designer, Project Leader, and Artist working with the Learning Games Network and Games Learning Society. In addition to direct involvement with design and development of many GLS/LGN games, I also work with local schools and community centers where I engage with University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and students to conduct playtests, interviews, and focus group tests.
avatar for Richard J Davidson

Richard J Davidson

William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr Davidson's research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices. His studies have included persons of all ages from birth though old age and have also included individuals with disorders of emotion such as mood and anxiety disorders and autism, as well as expert meditation practitioners with tens of thousands of hours of... Read More →
avatar for Elizabeth Owen

Elizabeth Owen

Director, Learning & Data Science, Age of Learning
Elizabeth Owen holds a PhD in Digital Media (School of Education) from UW-Madison, focused on game-based learning analytics. Currently the Director of Learning and Data Science at Age of Learning, she's committed to optimizing adaptive learning systems through applied machine learning. Previously a researcher and data scientist with GlassLab Games (EA campus), LRNG, and Metacog, her doctoral work is rooted at the Games+Learning+Society Center... Read More →
avatar for Gabriela Richard

Gabriela Richard

Doctoral Candidate, New York University
Gabriela Richard is a doctoral candidate and adjunct instructor at NYU whose research focuses on understanding the intersection between culture, experience, media and learning. She is currently completing her doctorate in the Educational Communication and Technology program. Her dissertation looks at the ways in which gender, ethnicity and sexuality are promoted, experienced, reflected, reenacted, and redefined in game culture by the various... Read More →

Amy Smith

Curriculum Designer and PhD Candidate in School of Education, University of Wisconsin - School of Medicine and Public Health
I am passionate and continuously curious about how we interact with each other. My research focuses on teaching skills that cultivate empathy and combat shame.
avatar for Constance Steinkuehler

Constance Steinkuehler

Co-Director, Associate Professor, GLS, UW-Madison
Constance Steinkuehler is an Associate Professor in Digital Media at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and co-directs the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) center at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery and chairs their annual GLS Conference. Her research is on cognition and learning in commercial entertainment games and games designed for impact. In 2011-2012, she served as Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of... Read More →

Friday June 14, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Old Madison

Attendees (22)