Center for games examines future of video games

At The Center for Games and Impact at ASU, passionate undergraduate and graduate students are conversing about recent gaming news and upcoming games. Launched by ASU professors Sasha Barab and James Gee in partnership with E-line founders Alan Geshenfeld and Michael Angst, the center provides a wide-variety of video game systems and resources on video games and its cultural impact.

Jeff Holmes, graduate student at ASU’s Center for Games and Impact and a doctorate student in rhetoric and composition, provided insight on the use of the center and what is in store for the video game industry.

“We believe that games can transform the way we see the world and how we can act in it,” he said. “Games are all about experience, and experience is how we create a model of the world. At the university-level, we want to support faculty and students who study and use games, and to promote an approach to the world through the lens of play.”

Holmes said that many of the problems the gaming industry faces in the coming years will require ingenuity and creative problem solving. 

Alex Cope, creative writing graduate student, said the center is a unique environment.

“There’s nowhere else on campus that talks about games in this capacity,” he said.

Ben Pincus, philosophy and justice studies senior, said the center has been focusing mainly on the future of gaming in education.

“The relationship between education and video games hasn’t been examined enough,” he said. “The ability for games to have meaningful learning experiences should be a bigger part of education in general, and that is what the center advocates for.”

The Center for Games and Impact also holds events that take place on campus and in the community, including a monthly “brown-bag lunch” series on the last Wednesday of each month. The next brown-bag event will feature Laura Callanan, an independent consultant, author and teacher in the field of social innovation and social impact assessment. Her talk will focus on the social impact assessment and will be held Feb. 27 at 12 p.m. in the Memorial Union.

Holmes said The Center for Games and Impact has in the past hosted events in the local community.

“We also have events like our recent game night at the Arizona Science Center, where over 200 people got hands-on experience playing a number of games and talked to faculty, staff and other leaders in the gaming industry about the power of games.” Holmes said.

The Center for Games and Impact does what the video game industry needs most: discourse and dialogue about video games being more than just a time-sink, Holmes said. The center promotes the examination of the positive power of games in education and social impact to solidify a hopeful outlook for the future of the gaming industry.

 

Reach the reporter at shfawcet@asu.edu and follow him on Twitter @MaroonandGamer.