There are a number of great THATCamps planned for the coming school year, including a few themed THATCamps such as the upcoming THATCamp Pedagogy and THATCamp Publishing. Themed THATCamps are a great opportunity for focused conversations that are still unconferences: free events with spontaneous collaboration and conversation instead of reading papers. In this spirit, along with Amanda Visconti, I’m co-organizing THATCamp Games in January. Registration opens today. If you find games in the classroom and beyond exciting, we hope you’ll consider joining us.
THATCamp Games was born out of a session on humanities games at THATCamp CHNM where a few of us discussed the idea that games and game design deserved their own unconference. Games and learning are hot topics across the board: Cathy Davidson notes the power of virtual learning environments in her new book Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn, and Ian Bogost has covered a range of possibilities in his book How To Do Things With Video Games. Jane McGonigal has offered the challenge that games can change the world in her book Reality is Broken. Games have the potential to be powerful tools for both pedagogy and scholarship.
We invite faculty, administrators, game scholars and designers, research and archival librarians, and students interested in the confluence of games and humanities to come build and imagine the future of games–and “n00bs” are welcome and encouraged. In the spirit of “more hack,” THATCamp Games Campers will build and share their own games throughout the conference. The event will include BootCamps on topics ranging from boardgames to ARGs, from building games to gaming the classroom, from first game-building tools to the latest technology. We’ll also be taking a concept from LEEF and other gaming events and offering an alternate reality game as part of the conference, as well as many other games to play and consider. Laura Seargeant Richardson argues that “Play should be our greatest work,” and at THATCamp Games work and play will collide.
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