GameChange Lecture Series

Apr 27, 2017 - 6:00 to 8:00
Idea|Exchange - Hespeler Branch

Idea|Exchange, in partnership with the Laurier Library, will be hosting two evenings of discussion/conversation/presentations on how games can be used to deepen our understanding of academic areas of study.

For the April 27th lecture, three faculty members from Laurier will be discussing how games relate to their research and practice.

Science Librarian Debbie Chaves will be exploring the use of the board game Evolution in information literacy instruction. "At the Laurier Library, Waterloo campus, we are beginning to investigate game play as a mechanism to connect students, Faculty and the Library together. With over a hundred students in the class on Evolution, the mechanics of offering students the opportunity and time to play one copy of the game can be a challenge. I am hoping to play this game with some Biology students and offer their insights into the connection of using games to educate. Using the Library will hopefully provide a warm and welcoming place to play and learn."

Professor Alicia McKenzie will be looking at the medieval aspects of Skyrim. "Though it is just one of countless examples of medievalist games, Bethesda’s massive open-world RPG, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim provides a fascinating window onto modern perceptions of post-Roman and Viking Age Europe. The game is set in the fictional world of Tamriel but demonstrates a wide range of direct influences from the history and cultures of the so-called “Dark Ages”. Through a collapsing of temporalities, Skyrim synthesizes its many medieval sources of inspiration into a single, compelling gameworld that both evokes our collective cultural memory of early medieval Europe and engages with important issues like racism, post-colonialism, and religious conflict."

Professor Steve Wilcox will be highlighting a game he created, Allergies & Allegories, which he created to raise awareness of life as a child with a food allergy. "Allergies & Allegories is a game that raises awareness of life as a child with a food allergy and the bullying they face. It's based on a series of interviews conducted with food-allergic children. That research was then distilled into common experiences, which formed the basis for the game mechanics of Allergies & Allegories. Just as food allergic children need to feel supported by their peer, teachers, and guardians, so too do players need to make connections and build relationships to make Mia, the main character, feel safe and welcome. The goal here is to create a sense of empathy through vicarious play."

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