By Jan Holmevik and Cynthia Haynes
In the spring semester of 2009, the English department at Clemson University launched a research project with the goal of finding examples of how games are inflecting our pedagogical landscape.* Building on the proven value of writing across the curriculum (WAC) and Clemson's national reputation as a leader of the WAC movement, we suggest that it is as important to understand that not only do we learn by writing, we learn by playing. Thus, gaming across the curriculum (GAC) is the next logical framework within which a powerful learning tool may be implemented across the curriculum. The linchpin of our initiative is delineated in the following operational definition:
"Gaming Across the Curriculum (GAC) is a scholarly initiative that will identify current uses of computer games and virtual worlds in academia, as well as suggest avenues for further research into pedagogical gaming."
We have made contact with most departments within the university, and have contacts with other universities in the U.S. and abroad (including IT-University of Copenhagen, Georgia Tech, University of Bergen, Norway). In addition to learning about what types of games/virtual worlds are being used in academia and how they are being used, another one of our primary goals is to help cultivate scholarly interdepartmental dialogue on the subject--to help facilitate productive discourse on the subject. Examples of GAC practices include:
Health Education and Human Development
Chemistry & Engineering
Forestry & Natural Resources
Excerpt from the RCID Blog (http://rcid.wordpress.com/)
On Tuesday, October 20, 2009, a group of 11 RCID students, 2 MAPC students, Jan Holmevik, and Cynthia Haynes, attended the much anticipated reprise of the 1999 Digital Arts and Culture Conference debate between Espen Aarseth and Janet Murray. Ian Bogost of Georgia Tech organized and moderated the session, which included talks by Aarseth (IT-University of Copenhagen), Murray (Georgia Tech), and Fox Harrell, Assistant Professor of Digital Media in their School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. The debate, billed as "How to Think about Narrative and Interactivity," revisited the historical conflict between narratology and ludology launched at the ‘99 DAC conference at Georgia Tech. Aside from Aarseth and Murray, Haynes and Holmevik were the only other attendees present at the ‘99 event. View the video of last week's roundtable session (note how the RCID contingent filled half the room!). See the post on Ian Bogost's blog about the event.
Jan Holmevik (Clemson University) with Espen Aarseth (IT University of Copenhagen) and the Clemson RCID contingent at Georgia Tech's colloquium on How to Think about Narrative and Interactivity.
For more information on the Gaming Across the Curriculum initiative, contact Cynthia Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jan Holmevik at email@example.com. You may also find the below links interesting and helpful:
Currents in Electronic Literacy (ISSN 1524-6493) solicits article-length submissions related to the theme below. Submissions are due by February 1, 2010. Please consult our Submission Guidelines.
Spring 2010 issue: "Gaming-Across-the-Curriculum: Playing as a Way of Learning"
"Gaming Across the Curriculum (GAC) is a scholarly initiative that will identify current uses of computer games and virtual worlds in academia, as well as suggest avenues for further research into pedagogical gaming" (GAC Blog http://gamingacrossthecurriculum.blogspot.com/).
This issue of Currents in Electronic Literacy will feature games created by students and faculty, best practices of the use of computer games in teaching, articles that theorize play and pedagogy, innovative approaches to cross-disciplinary collaboration using computer games, frameworks for GAC white papers, and so forth. The editors solicit articles, games (with instructions and background), GAC curriculum designs, and other forms of scholarly treatments of "gaming across the curriculum."
It is the policy of Currents in Electronic Literacy that all published contributions must meet the W3C accessibility standards. While all Currents articles are accessible, readers are advised that these same articles may contain links to other Web sites that do not meet accessibility guidelines. All submissions should adhere to MLA style guidelines for citations and documentation. Currents reserves all copyrights to published articles and requires that all of its articles be housed on its Web server.
(*) Portions of this report were compiled by GAC Team members Sean Callot and Mike Hovan.
Jan Holmevik is assistant professor in the Department of English at Clemson University.
Cynthia Haynes is associate professor in the Department of English at Clemson University.
Sean Callot is a recent graduate of the Department of English Professional Communication Program and continues to help with the Gaming Across the Curriculum initiative.
Mike Hovan is a graduate student in the Department of English Professional Communication Program.