New publication: Affordances and constraints of analog games for ethics education

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source:  Spencer Greenhalgh

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Keri Duncan Valentine and Lucas John Jensen recently released a new book entitled Examining the Evolution of Gaming and Its Impact on Social, Cultural, and Political Perspectives. I was fortunate enough to have a chapter accepted for the book… and that no one complained when I subtitled it “Dilemmas and Dragons.” A lot of my research these days is focused on digital data (e.g., Twitter and teacher education), but as one can tell from the early months of this blog, I’m also fascinated by the potential relationship between games and ethics education. This book chapter grew out of some interviews I conducted with students a year and a half ago. In the months leading up to the interviews, we had played a simple, analog roleplaying game to explore issues of government, society, and culture, and my interviews were primarily aimed at exploring whether the players saw the activity as an ethical thought experiment to be considered or a game to be won. Writing up what I learned about that is still in progress, but this chapter is an exploration of the same data to explore how analog games share many of the educational affordances commonly attributed to digital games… and even have affordances that digital games do not.

The chapter is available at the link above, and I’d be happy to chat with anyone about its contents.

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.

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