Showing posts with label edutainment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label edutainment. Show all posts

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Arm Chair Activism: Serious Games usage by INGOs for Educational Change

A new paper (PDF) that I co-authored with Sorina Itu on the analysis of serious games usage by INGOs as a means to foster virtual activism has just been published in the International Journal of Game-Based Learning. Sorina Itu deserves significant credit for this as she embarked on gathering data on which this paper is based on.

Basically, this is about the battle between educators and entertainers specifically when it comes to gaming. This paper argues that the edutainment battleground has expanded to include actors outside formal schooling agencies, namely International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs). These actors employ digital games with the aim to educate and activate towards specific social causes. These serious games are viewed to have tremendous potential for behavioral change through their interactive and persuasive aspects. This paper examines serious games deployed by certain prominent INGOs and analyzes the educative aspects of such new media platforms. What is revealed at the design, audience, and content level compel us to examine what constitutes as education through serious games. Here, education is seen as social marketing employing sensationalism, morality, and emotional capital to stimulate activism. Such games sustain the converted rather than create new understandings of complex social issues.

Hope you get a chance to check our paper out...should be an interesting read for educators, designers and activists who would like to capitalize on gaming platforms to instigate social change. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Karaoke Kills?

Sinatra has done it, not got the hearts and minds with his music but rather, got the hands to work overtime; apparently, people in the Philippines are  busy stabbing each other over the singing of "My Way." Alright, I'm falling into the usual sensationalizing of such news as it makes good copy but with the recent murders happening in the guise of Filipino passion for this song, this has taken on quite a legendary status.  Its strange to associate such violence and rage with karaoke, especially since I've been touting karaoke as an amazing tool for social engagement and edutainment from my research work in rural India.

The Same Language Subtitling project that I researched on was pioneered by Dr. Brij Kothari. The idea is simple really...people in rural areas watch alot of TV, particularly Bollywood songs and the argument goes that if only we put the lyrics at the bottom of the screen that highlighted as it got sang, people would be able to sustain their literacy skills while being entertained. 
So what to make of such rages of passion? Perhaps see this as a reminder that music is deeply emotive and that emotion trumps all - TEXT, subTEXT, conTEXT? That killing you softly with songs can happen!