Can video games offer kids anything except pure entertainment? This War of Mine has been added to the school curriculum in Poland, so apparently the answer is yes! Are teachers and schools ready for it? Do game makers take kids’ development needs into consideration while designing games? And where do parents fit into all of that? We will discuss all that on Dec 9th, the second day of the festival.
Video games can be a great resource in the classroom. It has been known at least since 1971, when Don Rawitsch, a teacher’s assistant for a high school American History class, has shown his students The Oregon Trail, a project which later became one of the first computer game hits in history. We have been wondering how to systemically introduce games into education systems for nearly half a century now, but the project still poses significant challenges. During Games for Impact, the roots of these difficulties and the ways to overcome them will be discussed by Vit Sisler, the creator of Attentat 1942 and Svoboda 1945, which are successfully used by Czech history teachers, educator Rafał Lew-Starowicz, till recently associated with the Textbooks, Programs and Innovations Department of the Ministry of National Education in Poland, and representatives of the Finnish initiative Teacher Gaming.
Creating good games for kids is a huge responsibility – young audiences cannot be manipulated, encouraged to make purchases, or forced to spend long hours in front o f the screen. At the same time, building a sustainable business model on responsibly designed games is not easy. How can the ethical approach to design and a market success go hand in hand? We will discuss this with Raul Gutierrez, designer of games for kids from the American company Tinybob, and Wiesław Bartkowski, a researcher studying the impact of technology and design on people.
On top of that, we invite you to our workshops and practical sessions. The teachers will have the opportunity to create a lesson plans based on This War of Mine, a game recently added to the school curriculum, in cooperation with game creators themselves. Game designers, teachers and parents will hear the story of the educational robot Photon, learning a thing or two about introducing digital products to the classrooms. Parents will have a unique opportunity to talk to Andy Robertson, the creator of AskAboutGames, a website promoting safe and responsible ways of introducing kids to the world of video games.