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Author Archive

On Flow and Flow Control

A brief essay on “flow” in game design that I wrote for my university’s news room page.

Breaking Down Siloed Educational Subjects & Learning with Computer Games: Finland Leads the Way

What I feel now is the powerful urge to immediately move to Finland.

Thing Is, Austin Walker Is Creating Great Video Game Criticism (And You Can Chip In Some for It on Patreon)

Or, in the immortal words of Harlan Ellison: “Pay the Writer.”

#ECGBL 2014: The Pitfalls of Gamified Learning Design

Game-based learning can provide us the tools to learn and create collaboratively, and to teach us to learn and create collaboratively, for sustained lifelong learning-experiences.

#ECGBL2014: Welcome and Keynote

8th European Conference for Game-Based Learning & 5th International Conference on Serious Games Development & Applications in Berlin, October 9–10, 2014.

“#GamerGate Isn’t Over But” Addendum

“I got into the game industry to make games. And it’s time for me to get back to it.” —@spacekatgal

#GamerGate Isn’t Over But

We should keep our defenses up but not let GamerGate eat up our time and energy anymore. Now is a better time than ever to develop great games that make a difference.

The “Actually, It’s About Ethics in Journalism!” Game

Please note: You might not be able to sign out again. Ever.

Brianna Wu Is Third Woman Since August to Be Driven From Home by Death and Rape Threats for Views on Gaming

I like to thank Elizabeth Simins for providing this article’s headline for free.

What’s Wrong with NPCs?—One of Numerous Questions Austin Walker Nails Perfectly

In most video games most of the time, non-player characters are the meat in the player character’s power fantasy sandwich.

European Conference for Game-Based Learning

This week, I’ll be off to the ECGBL 2014 in Berlin.

It’s All in Your Head: How Do We Get People to Understand Programming, Math, Literature?

Game-based learning should be designed in such a way that a) you can walk up to it and start playing and b) you can walk up to it and start learning.

No, @intel, That Is Not an Apology

The only thing this “apology” demonstrates is that Intel’s PR department is run by spineless weasels.

What About #GBL and the Humanities?

Two fatal mistakes the humanities must avoid at all costs: putting themselves on the defensive about their own self-worth and/or positioning themselves in the “training” camp.

The Declining Value of the Indie Game Customer

Puppyblog’s long, rambling, and eminently realistic blog post about indie game customers everybody interested in gaming culture and indie games should read.

A Game-Based Learning Reading List

Five recommendations for critical readings on games and learning from ProfHacker.

“Let’s Make Earnest Games, Not ‘Serious’ Games”

“Maybe what we want are not ‘serious’ games, but earnest games. Games that aren’t just instrumental or opportunistic in their intentions.”

Don’t Let Your Simulation Game Become a Shit Sandwich

Common knowledge, and often among the main rationales for developing simulation games, is that wrapping entertainment around course material will boost motivation.

Learning with Your Body

I think the peripatetics got it right.

A Design Paradigm for Serious Games

While Gunter et al.’s paper is not a rigorously written research study, we can still extract its basic idea and expand on it.

The Trouble with Game-Based Learning Research

With their often defensively positioned arguments and study designs, game-based learning proponents paint themselves into a corner.

Operation Play

Worth checking out. I almost missed this.

“Educators Had the Right to Feel a Little Freaked Out”

Microsoft’s never been education-centric, to say the least, and Minecraft is huge in game-based education across STEM.

Learning “Trust” With Co-op Games

When “Trust” as an educational objective has to take dynamically changing contexts into account, most serious game mechanics are not even close to being useful.

Teacher Survey: Digital Games in Class

Impressive, but I wonder whether tablets are particulary suited for collaborative game-based learning (which playing games in the classroom was all about in the first place).

“LEGO’s Girl Problem Starts with Management” Indeed

LEGO should be ashamed. And the whole videogame industry suffers from the same problem.

A Huge Potential with a Capital “B”

At the Joburg Serious Games Conference, Ernest W. Adams mentioned “stealth learning” as a very effective way to convey a specific message in a serious game.

Ready to Go, But Not Yet Publishing

just drafts is one part news ticker with commentary and one part real-time research about game-based learning & education, game design, and game & media ethics.