Scot Osterweil and Judy Perry facilitated a workshop at the Connected Learning Summit conference entitled “Why does it have to be a game?” on Friday, October 27, 2023.
Program Description: There was a time when we had to convince educators that there was a role for games in learning. Now that game-based learning has achieved respectability, we should guard against using games to solve challenges where alternatives might work better. Or to put a more positive spin on it, as designers, we can also avail ourselves of other forms of play, such as role-playing or storytelling to accomplish our goals. In this workshop, designers from MIT and Learning Games Network will provide examples of “game adjacent” solutions we’ve developed, and lead participants in a design exercise to further explore possibilities.
The session featured an interactive discussion with participants (including educators, designers, students, academics, and other content developers) reflecting on playful and game-adjacent learning experiences. Discussions included examples of game-adjacent work including STEP project: pSims (Participatory Simulations) and Vanished (a curated alternate reality game (ARG) for middle school students to engage with STEM by solving a mystery).