The ‘Barab et al’ article seemed to discuss approach to all forms of design. As I often do with this course, I relate it to Industrial Design (as well as game development) as there are many parallels that make a connection in my mind. This article resonates with me in its discussion that a designer (of games or otherwise) who tries to design for change/impact must be wary of their approach… They must investigate the demographic/culture that they are trying to impact and let the people influence the design (as they usually know best what will be impactful for them… or being involved in their culture will give new insights). In IND, if we want to design for the elderly, or someone with a handicap, it would not be useful to create designs based on our own assumptions. We must discuss with the target group what their wants/needs are. Likewise, for an educational game targeted at 5-10 year-olds, one must study how they learn and what holds their attention. I’m interested to know if this article stemmed from wanting promote Quest Atlantis (‘Hey, we have good practices for our projects!’), or if the article was made specifically to discuss ethnography (which happened to use their ‘Quest Atlantis’ project as supplement to the process)?
This article constantly refers back to ‘Quest Atlantis’ project as a good example of ethnographic design. Is it only geared toward students from ages 9-12 or can this encompass people of all ages?
I can absolutely relate to Steinkuehler analysis of MMOGs as an “organic” learning environment where people especially those that are anti-social can learn important social skills that rather wise may be hard to learn.
Steinkuehler touches on how MMOGs give apprenticeship and development. Is this better in your opinion through the game design or through player interaction?
Barab et al Quest Atlantis and the story of how it started was great. The question that got me the most. This brings us face-to-face with our own potential arrogance. How can we possibly determine the social commitments for anyone, and why should we even assume that they want or need to articulate these commitments?
I like how Steinkuehler’s article discusses the influence of global networking and how MMOGs can give us information about culture or how varying perspectives can contribute to a community. It is fascinating seeing what happens when cultural/societal barriers are broken down in the context of a game. Participation alone facilitates problem-solving because there is true experience and investment. I would be interested in seeing the studies that are conducted that observe MMOG communities. Are there articles out there that show observations of gaming communities? How do they solve problems together? What are the differences in community approach between well-defined & ill-defined problems?