Yesterday, I was in Savannah giving a presentation with Brenda at SCAD to other educators about the use of games as a teaching tool. It was intended as a combination of my earlier Origins presentations and our Game Design Improv event.
I learned something interesting here: when talking about games in education, I take for granted that most of the time I'm talking to educators who already play games heavily (or teach game development), so the use of games in the classroom is not a hard sell. In this case I was speaking with professors from art history, photography, audio, film, media studies, and several other fields that are not directly related to games. We spent a lot of time discussing whether games were worthwhile for classroom use at all, and if so in what situations. It was a wonderful discussion that really challenged us all, and it's a discussion I'm not used to having. I was also impressed by the high degree of game literacy from these professors who were not gamers; participants referenced a number of game industry personalities and important games. Apparently it's not just game designers who study other media; they're paying attention to us, also.
Coming up, I've got a few speaking engagements. I'm speaking at GDC, both times during the Education Summit. I speak twice: I'm doing the next iteration of Game Design Improv with Brenda, and also speaking with Susan Gold and Gorm Lai about the results of the Global Game Jam.
The month after that, I'll be at GDX (here's last year's site, the new one isn't up yet), speaking about the relationships between art history and game design -- basically, why game designers should take at least one art history class, and why they should pay attention. (Short answer: because we may feel like games are a new medium and we're blazing new trails, but an awful lot of what we're doing with games-as-art is stuff that the art world already addressed hundreds of years ago, and we need to understand this so we don't keep reinventing the wheel.)