The C2Learn project organized a Panel Discussion on Creativity in Games, as well as, in collaboration with the SIREN project, a workshop on Games for Learning in the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) 2013 Conference, which took place in Chania, Greece, on 14 – 17 May 2013.
Panel Discussion @ FDG 2013: Creativity in Games
Are games part of a digitally-enabled participatory culture of widespread creative contributions and creative civic engagement? Or can they be? What is the relation between games and creativity? Game design is in itself a creative experience for game designers. It is also a fertile ground for creative technological innovation. Yet, in both these cases creativity resides in small professional and research communities, a privileged minority compared to the large majority that consumes their creative products. Are games and gaming an arena of cultural participation where creativity can be shared and cultivated more broadly? What does fostering creativity entail from a social, cognitive and emotive perspective, and can game elements and gaming practices serve? What do we mean by player creativity in games? Presently, is gaming a creative activity? Are there game designs that enrich the experience of creativity and game designs that trivialize and impoverish it, or distract from it? Can games be designed for the deliberate purpose of fostering the mindset, habits and competencies of creative engagement? Can gameplay be designed around the idea of inviting player creativity? In what ways can the technical infrastructure of state-of-the-art gaming systems enable games that support and respond to player creativity? Can player creativity serve to drive technological innovation?
- Anna Craft: “What is the potential for wise, humanising creativity in games?”
- Kenneth O. Stanley: “Games and computational creativity”
- Keith Stenning: “Playing around with authority”
Panel Coordinators: Evangelia Dimaraki and Mirjam P Eladhari
Workshop @ FDG 2013: Games for Learning
So we know that people of all ages like to play. There are even attempts to formulate the concept of play theoretically and to identify why it’s so important to our lives. We can even recall that play is one of the first things we do after we are born, constituting our first man-machine interface (with toys) and one of the first social activities we engage in. Even though playful learning is a recurrent vision in pedagogical thought, the educational system in most countries treats play as something antagonistic to learning: young students are allowed to play only during pre-defined sessions between classes and learning usually relies on formal teaching methods. This distinction was carried over, until recently, to the respective research fields in digital technologies: CS people working on games concentrated on the AI-side (how to make successful computer agents and non-player characters that play games in an unsupervised manner), while research on technology-enhanced learning looked for theoretical foundations in the most traditional learning research, missing out almost completely on concepts of engagement, playful learning and related concepts which recently emerged, such as ‘gamification’. As a result, most of the games produced for explicitly educational purposes from the collaboration of CS and TEL researchers, may have been effective with respect to their learning objectives, but they were not in the end adopted by their prospective users. In addition, game-based learning research has yet to tap into the potential of using games to cultivate creativity. While traditional media such as arts and crafts are essential to the enhancement of certain creative skills, games can be used to explore approaches to enhancing creativity that draw upon the broader digitally mediated culture: playing games requires creative skills that many students are now familiar with in terms of learning and then optimising the mechanics of a game. This workshop brought together researchers from the fields of games research, game AI, intelligent systems, affective computing, design, human-computer interaction and user experience with people from the fields of education, technology-enhanced learning, cognitive sciences, psychology and ergonomics in order to foster the exchange of ideas and experiences from designing, developing and evaluating learning games in terms of usability and learning effect. Design characteristics, methodology and results from five EU-funded projects were presented and discussed, while a discussion session after the presentations provided the opportunity to discuss the ideas and concepts presented during the workshop.