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Response to Braithwaite video

by badbuddha0 on Apr 16, 2013 at 12:07 AM}
I really loved the Brenda Braithwaite video and I wrote a story about it on my Storify. In many ways, what I write there is preaching to the choir in this crowd, but I often write my stories in such a way that I hope will turn on those people in my extended PLN who haven't caught the bug yet!

The story is HERE. Let me know if you have any trouble accessing it.


You make a good point about the possibility of putting too much emotion or possible psychological "aftershocks" into a class experience, it takes care to make sure it isn't an experiment. I will see your Toonie and raise you a couple of Sacajaweas (just kidding, we can't give those Sacajaweas away, one US dollar coins just don't play with others in the American coinage system).

As someone with a degree in criminal anthropology, and an owner and operator of a private prison, I am most familiar with the Zimbardo experiment. There is a limit as to how much you can make someone uncomfortable and feeling either omnipotent, or depreciated and get back to the status quo in time. Jane Elliot - Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes This was not without controversy. However, diversity training has to start somewhere! I was part of a very similar exercise, if not this one, in a recent diversity training The Bag Exercise I am never quite sure that these game actually teach what they are suppose to teach. As the discussions require pre-judgements, like don't give a bag that would have "isolating candy" to a person in the room that you have previously identified as "marginalized."

The Zimbardo Experiement, does have criticism on not only ethical grounds, but the fact it was college students. Certainly the fact it had to close down on 6 days instead of the 14 is telling, but so is the fact Zimbardo participated. However, we saw similar actions in the Abu Ghraib, that under unsupervised and extenuating circumstances, behavior deviates from the expected norms.

I think it is extremely important that whether we are creating a game that is 100% online, or an ARG, or a face-to-face game, it is imperative that we fully understand the students/players, that it is set to reach. I can think of some games I could devise that would be online or in class that I simply cannot due even if it would make the point. As an example, Albino Africans are being killed, or having their extremities lopped off so those parts can be used in witchcraft, an Albion body (the useable parts) can fetch $240 US where the average yearly wage is $10. Now there are safe compounds being established to protect Albino Africans. I could design a game but I won't. It is difficult enough for my students (college) to look at videos discussing it and discussing it in class without having a game where they are at risk for the color of their skin. Albinos Killed for Body Parts and this is about one woman Albino Woman Survives Attach Some things don't need a game to touch us emotionally or to show that prejudicial attitudes lead many times to more than just emotional or psychological pain and suffering.

Could I make a game of this that would focus more on the personal emotional, physical and psychological damage the Albinos are suffering for the use in a religious (witchcraft) ceremony or potent? Yes. Would I? No. Would you? And if you would how would you structure it for say, K-12, or college?
Private Prison?? We don't have those here...I didn't even know it was a thing.


As for the other parts of the post, I think you highlight the most important consideration of instructional design: what tool(s) will work best to teach the concept(s)?

Sometimes a game is appropriate...a lot of times, actually. But, depending on what the learning objective is (and how it is scoped), there may be better tools/more practical tools.

I have loved reading your posts in this and previous MOOCs :). Thank you!
Ah, Badbuddha0, we have a mutual admiration society going here, as your posts are generally the ones I go to first. Good point about which tools work best, all craftsmen/women know that, you don’t use a sledge hammer if a tack hammer will do.

Sometimes when a new and innovative idea, in the case, gamification, we need to stop and ask, “How can I use this effectively? Is it the tool I can use? Is it going to do the job for me? Will the end product be what I want?” When “Everyone is doing it!” do we feel we will be left behind or passed over if we don’t? We need to not emulate The Fool in the Tarot deck, always shown stepping happily off a cliff into space under the false notion that the ground will rise up to meet him.

I was interested in gaming way back in the mid-1970s and even had a game I developed along the lines of Monopoly, called “The Prison Game,” optioned by Psychology Today Magazine for $1000, not bad cash for the 1970s. They discontinued putting games in their magazine a few months before it was scheduled to be an insert. I was sorry to see Brenda Brathwaite with less than 40 seconds into the Ted Talk discount and stigmatize all board games “As tragically boring board games that hold us hostage in Thanksgiving situations."
Gaming For Understanding Ted Talk

So called, Table Top games are as immersive, in my opinion as World of Warcraft, they are meeting a different audience’s needs to be entertained, and skills are learned while playing the games, example, cooperation or competition and when is each an appropriate response.

We played Magic the Gathering as part of my Anthropology of Folklore Class, about a year ago, look at all we did to try to engage the students in the subject matter:

<iframe src="" width="427" height="356" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" style="border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style="margin-bottom:5px"> <strong> <a href="" title="Playing the games and other tools of engagement" target="_blank">Playing the games and other tools of engagement</a> </strong> from <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Cherriethel (Cherry) Emerson</a></strong> </div>

By the way, Private Prisons are a big industry in the USA. The Greed of Private Prisons We were the first to contract with the US Bureau of Prisons. Here is a good example of a “new technology” with unintended consequences; we thought we were helping decrease the prison population. All we did was show another way to increase the population at a lower per-day rate.

Darn, my embedding didn't work for that slide show. Playing the Game and Other Tools of Engagement and you can't edit a reply!
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