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Announcements - THATCamp Games 2013

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  • Gaming the Web: creating experiences for the browser


    Digital Hack Session 1 – 9:15am-12:00pm
    John Murray, Expressive Intelligence Studio at the University of California, Santa Cruz

    HTML has long been regarded as a technology with both a low barrier for entry and a high degree of accessibility. You can view the source of any web page, and even render any textfile with HTML in your browser. By adding a server, you can access an even wider audience. Web games came into popularity with the advent of Flash, a system which made creating graphics and interactivity accessible to most web browsers. HTML5 introduces many of the features necessary to creating games that were before only possible using Flash. In this workshop, we’ll start by examining the most successful web games that have a purpose before learning how to create a simple game using libraries. The games and libraries referenced will be provided ahead of time. By the end of the session, you’ll be able to alter key game rules, write new functions and add graphics to an HTML5 game, as well as how to teach students to use HTML5 and gaming libraries in their own projects.

    John Murray is a graduate student at the Expressive Intelligence Studio at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His current research includes crowd sourced gaming to solve hard problems, augmented reality and collaborative interactive storytelling. His teaching experience includes game design for the Kinect, artificial intelligence and computer graphics. He developed and taught courses on basic programming, web services, and mobile applications for the Web and New Media department at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He can be found on twitter as @LucidBard and on the web at lucidbard.com

  • An Introduction to Open Source Hardware


    Digital Hack Session 2 – 1:10pm-3:10pm
    Candra K. Gill, Rosetta Marketing

    This workshop will serve as a hands-on introduction to open source hardware formats. We will cover Arduino microcontrollers in multiple formats including wearable platforms, the Makey Makey user interface platform, and the Raspberry Pi computer. Examples of each will be available to use at the workshop. We will focus on ways in which these platforms can add another dimension to incorporating games in the classroom. While the content of the workshop will target beginners, those with experience with these platforms are welcome to come help and to bring examples of their work.

    Candra K. Gill is a user experience designer working in Cleveland. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Information. A former teacher of college English and a current volunteer with an academic support program for students of Cleveland Public Schools, she is interested in intersections between technology literacy and liberal arts education. She can be found on Twitter at @ckgill.

  • Digital Game Design Jam


    Digital Hack Session 3 – 3:20pm-5:10pm
    James Morgan, San Jose State University

    In the form of Glorious Trainwrecks and Klik of the Month Club, this is a two hour game jam focused on getting out a quick idea for play. There is no way to fail and we will work in teams to come up with digital game prototypes. We will choose a fun or outrageous theme when we start.

    James Morgan is an instructor for Digital Media Art at San José State University and is the Director of Ars Virtua. His work involves social interaction, coded culture and democratic structures in game-spaces and simulations. James curates art and games in physical and simulated spaces.

  • Designing Board Games with a Purpose


    Cardboard Hack Session 1: 9:15am-12:00pm
    Anastasia Salter, University of Baltimore

    We all remember board games from childhood, when learning through play seemed easy. We learned colors from Candyland, math and economic skills from Monopoly, and expanded our vocabulary with Scrabble. But board games can also offer powerful opportunities for advanced learning, as games like cooperative disease response simulation Pandemic or casual ecological critique Eco Fluxx demonstrate. Whether you’re interested in designing games for the classroom or building games with students, board games can be an accessible starting point without any reliance on technology. In this workshop, we’ll go through the process of connecting game design choices to learning outcomes from across disciplines. We’ll take existing materials and hack them together to form a new game with a purpose. You’ll leave with a group prototype and strategies for connecting learning outcomes to rules-based systems.

    All supplies provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own art supplies or odd objects to use.

    Anastasia Salter is an assistant professor of Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore. Her primary research is on digital narratives with a continuing focus on virtual worlds, gender and cyberspace, video games, educational games and fan production. She holds a Doctorate in Communications Design from the University of Baltimore and an MFA in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. She writes for Profhacker, a blog on technology and pedagogy hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education. She’s on Twitter as @AnaSalter and online at Selfloud.net

  • Course Content as RPG


    Cardboard Hack Session 2 – 1:10pm-3:10pm
    Laura Zucconi, Stockton College

    The workshop will introduce key concepts for running a live classroom RPG (role playing game) with discussion as to how they correlate with traditional humanities content and integration with digital humanities. Development of rudimentary game mechanics and confidence in being a Game Master are the goals. Participants should bring a list of learning objectives and content they would like to convey in RPG form. During the workshop, we will work on the development of characters, skills, quest/scenario building, and integration of digital technology.

    Laura Zucconi is an Associate Professor of History at Richard Stockton College. Her research interests are religion and medicine in the ancient world, archaeology, and the development of technology in the music industry as well as the use of games in education. She is currently working under an NEH grant to develop the digital RPG Pox & the City and she is creating a classroom RPG for use in music classes. Laura is a forum member of Reacting to the Past: role-playing games based on classic texts and The Education Arcade.

  • Can we make a test fun?


    Cardboard Hack Session 3 – 3:20pm-5:10pm
    Eric Church, Senior Game Designer, BreakAway Games

    All games are continuously assessing players – this is true of both video games and board games. Games can also take the stress out of assessment and this makes games the perfect platform for testing knowledge. The problem is that effective games also provide constant feedback, leaving assessment mixed with learning, making summative assessment difficult. The workshop will explore how to make a game for assessment. We will look at the hurdles to effectively building assessment into a game and explore solutions to those hurdles. During the workshop we’ll start you on the way to making a game that makes taking (and giving) a test more fun and less stressful for everyone.

    Eric Church is a Senior Game Designer at BreakAway Games. Eric has spent the last 6 years designing games and simulations for training, exploration, collaboration and assessment. His designs have addressed fields ranging from medicine to sales to education. Before making games for learning, Eric spent 12 years making entertainment games, designing games that were PlayStation and Xbox best-sellers. Eric is now interested in the sources of motivation in games, looking for ways to translate game mechanics to other purposes, including learning and assessment.

  • Registration Follow-up



    Once you’ve registered for the event, please take the time to visit bit.ly/tcg2013! It’s a very quick form that will let us know whether you will be attending BootCamps and staying for Sunday’s events.

    We appreciate your help in this.

  • Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!


    I’ve been to a few multi-day THATCamps. The last day can sometimes be a bit “participant sparse.” We hope that TCG2013 participants will stay for our Sunday events. We’re planning:


    • Part II of our Digital Game Design workshop
    • Part II of our Boardgame Design workshop
    • Part II of our Course Design workshop
    • A Meetup.com event: Gameplay @ THATCamp (yep. we’re going to let local gamers know you’re here)

    With the additional time and assistance, we hope that participants are able to develop their ideas a bit more than is possible with one session. Attendee game-jammers might consider creating a product for submission to the “Proceedings of THATCamps”

    Regardless, we hope that you are all able to make arrangements to stay! As an aside, it would be helpful to us to know if you do plan to stay. If you could include that in your User Profile it would be much appreciated.

    In addition, for those of you arriving on Thursday, we will kick off the THATCamp Games weekend with a presentation by Anastasia Salter titled “Gaming for a Classroom (R)evolution: Transforming Learning through Play.” If you are planning on being here, please join us.

  • Get Your Game On!


    Registration is now open for THATCamp Games 2013!


    We have spots available for up to 100 TCG2013 participants. Registration will remain open until those spots are filled and we have a few names for the wait list.  The previous THATCamp Game spots filled up quickly, so register early.

    Click the button on the right to reach the registration form.

  • DMs and GMs Found!


    THATCamp Games will offer three concurrent workshop tracks, with each track containing at least one n00b session. In this way, campers of various experience can mix and match to best meet their interests.


    The three tracks are:

    • Cardboard Hacks: a space for analog (board, card, dice) game creation and discussion
    • Digital Hacks: a space for all your digital game needs
    • Course Hacks: a space to investigate the application of games in the classroom and turning the classroom into a game

    If you have an idea for a workshop in one of these areas, please contact us at tcg2013@gmail.com. Additionally, if you like to suggest a possible workshop, please leave a comment on our BootCamps page.

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