June 3, 2008

G4C: Gaming the Class

Filed under: Uncategorized — tsladmin @ 2:42 pm

David Thomas, Justin Hollander
Urban planning as a curriculum
city systems, regional systems
wanted to teach young architects to learn to build using games
tend to think of urban planning as a design problem – if this then that
but cities don’t work that way
conflict happens in games, similar to how conflict happens in cities
looking for ways to empower the powerless, to provide access to people who have none
social justice component
ethically and morally try as hard as you can to look to the people who don’t have power and make decisions that affect them first (that’s how they train urban planners)
“oh, you teach SimCity” but it’s the worst game ever for teaching urban planning
games are about the themes for how conflicts are resolved in the real world
“let’s use some games”
Forest Hills Neighborhood in Boston
they built a version of FH in Second Life where they can interact and experiment
urban planning is the public’s interest in private property
what’s missing in SimCity? there’s no private property – nobody complains when you tear something down
it’s a weird model for how cities are designed
“the best you get out of SimCity is Stalinism” – David Thomas
teach them that’s not how cities work, but what games can you use next?
“dice wars” – what if the shapes are neighborhoods? shifting boundaries that are contested and constantly moving
there’s something competitive about cities
TransAmerica – most negotiation in cities is like this, in the open, even though there are secret motives that you won’t know about until it’s too late; might benefit you or hurt you
play the game for a little while and then talk about it
Carcassonne – it’s like chess; everything is out and everyone can see what is happening; constant negotiation to build the map, and the map for every game is different; this is how cities work – they’re all trying to maximize the map for themselves
nobody designed the neighborhood we’re in, designed how high the buildings are, etc.
environmental maps of the conflict that occurred to create
Fluxx – get the students playing tactically because the rules are always changing; a moving target where the goals and rules keep changing and you have influence over the rules, like when groups come together in cities to wield power to rewrite rules
even rules themselves and their systems are very fluid
people in the area couldn’t actually get in to access Second Life (challenge)
do games trivialize the subject matter?
it’s hard to get a community to care about issues until you can show them the effects
needs games he can teach in 5 minutes and that can be played in a short time
is now thinking about designing a planning card game to help fill this gap, currently shoehorning content
next year, plans to implement the “value of play” workshop into the class
tries to bring planning to life for students

1 Comment

  1. […] jenny wrote an interesting post today on G4C: Gaming the Class. Here’s a quick excerpt: […]

    Pingback by G4C: Gaming the Class — June 3, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

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