Brown Bag Seminar: A Reality Game to Cross Disciplines
Educational and civic games are typically preparatory, teaching skills and information to be applied later. Yet the rise of reality gaming introduces a new possibility: that the game directly shapes real-world networks, even as it educates. Networks are a novel target for educational games, despite the vital importance of networks for educational attainment, securing jobs and even civic engagement.
Benjamin Stokes investigates how digital media foster civic engagement, informal learning, and activism. He is currently studying how mobile media and videogames can advance social justice by bridging online and offline participation. Previously he co-founded Games for Change, the branch of the serious games movement focused on social issues and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, he was an education program officer at the MacArthur Foundation in their portfolio on Digital Media and Learning. Benjamin has also led the development of original digital media properties: at the educational nonprofit NetAid, his team created digital games and an activist training website that engaged more than 150,000 youth in fighting extreme poverty. Benjamin is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Southern California in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.