Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Teaching Diversity Through Games

I read an interesting article in The New York Times this past week, "A Game Aims to Draw Attention To Women's Issues" (Jensen).  Michele Byrd and Asi Burak of Games for Change have created an interactive online game called "Half The Sky Movement:  The Game", which seeks to raise awareness of global problems like sex trafficking and female genital mutilation.  Scheduled for release through Facebook on March 4, 2013, the theme of the social media game is inspired by the 2009 book Half The Sky:  Turning Oppression Into Opportunity Worldwide, written by Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, and Sheryl WuDunn, a former Times journalist (Jensen).

Can social media games increase awareness of diversity and social issues?   Will games result in social change?  These are interesting questions that deserve systematic study.  I have used a variety of interactive learning objects in my online courses and they seem to engage students and enhance learning of sociological concepts.   Games are also being used to teach science, math, and engineering.  One example is Teach With Portals.  

Games for Change is hosting their 10th anniversary Games For Change Festival on June 17-19, 2013.

Below is a video clip about Half The Sky Movement:  The Game from Games for Change.

Jensen, Elizabeth, . "A Game Aims to Draw Attention to Women's Issues." The New York Times 17 02 2013, n. pag. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.