How to “Get Better”: Approaches to LGBTQ-relevant Video Games
Presented by: Robert Yang
Given today’s attempts at LGBTQ outreach and advocacy, e.g. the “It Gets Better” campaign, it makes sense to explore more queer-relevant content through engaging and thoughtful video game design. So how do we get LGBTQ content “right”? For that matter, what does “LGBTQ content” even entail? What are the ways that video games imply notions of gender and sexuality through their graphics, sounds, interfaces, and mechanics? Listeners will take away design techniques to integrate socially relevant content into games, ethical concerns in doing so, and a very brief overview of LGBTQ issues.

Crafting Science Learning Games that People Will Play – Two Voices, One Goal
Presented by: Jodi Asbell-Clarke, Scott Kirk

Jodi and Scott will tell a tale of woe, hope, and compassion about co-developing educational games. With a dual mission, entertainment and learning, the games developed by EdGE and GameGurus are walking the fine line of research and commercial development. The vastly different perspectives of an educational researcher and a commercial game designer present challenges, tension, grief, and ultimately opportunities for new types of games that can make a difference.

Jodi will explain the need for grounding the game in solid pedagogical design so that  research measurements will be effective and convincing to funders and educational systems. Scott tries to fit those constraints into the world of development timelines, budgets, and profit margins. It all works when both teams have the creative spark, worthy goals, and a lot of energy.

If Coding Games is the New Literacy, Then…
Presented by: Idit Harel Caperton

I believe coding games is the new writing, and everyone needs to be fluent in coding. It’s the common language connecting the global G4C community by breaking barriers of geography, thus enabling collaborative thinking, creative modeling and storytelling, leveraging the diverse knowledge and strategic expertise of people in multiple places–independent of linguistic ties and cultural differences. In our networked reality, someone in NYC can code a game prototype about finding potable water; get improvements from people in Delhi, Riyadh, Nairobi and Tel Aviv; and see the program not just played, but also helping people in Somalia find their way to clean drinking water. Unfortunately, the same toolkit can be used to do harm. How do we ensure that this powerful universal language is taught to everyone equally as a human right (like reading and writing text), yet is used only for good? I’ve 5 minutes to rant and propose solutions, so please tweet your questions now to @idit and @G4C.

Presented by: James Bower

What could everyone possibly be thinking? Why doesn’t anyone seem to realize what happens if we don’t get this new technology right?  Certainly society is changing, our old political and educational systems are being challenged, our influence is more and more global, and our new technology is powerful.  But technology will change again and therefore shouldn’t we be considering the long-term consequences of the structures we are building around the new technology today? MEMENTO MORI, but the structures we build persist.  We have to get it right.